Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family and Newborn Pictures

Graduation/New Job

I don't have any pictures of our recent graduate but Garon did finish up his bachelors in business December 2011.  He has accepted a job with USA Truck in Van Buren, AR as a Fleet Manager.  At this moment he is working two jobs because he couldn't leave Fleet HQ at the moment or else we would have had to go a while without a paycheck because USA Truck pays only once a month.  He is also holding onto Fleet HQ because after the first of the year there are going to be possible positions within Wingfoot with relocation that he may enjoy a little more.  We are kind of in limbo at the moment and not for sure what the future will bring.  We are so grateful that opportunities are opening up for our family.  He won't be home much since he is working about 75 hours a week but I know this is only for a short time.

Congratulations Garon!! We are so proud of you and all you have accomplished.

Christmas Cookies

We spent a Sunday evening together decorating Christmas cookies.  This was the only day Garon was going to have off of work for 7 days so we took advantage of his time home by doing some family activities.  Jillian had a great time! She had a huge sugar rush, even bigger melt down, and then she slept like the amazing kid that she is.  We absolutely love our little family and the many fun times we have together.

Jillian's Masterpiece

Wyatt looks so amused to be here

Oh the Little Ones

Life is never boring in the Tidwell home.  We always have something to do and someone is willing to put on a little show.  Some shows are comical, some dramatic, and we often have some that are a little mix of both.  Our Jilly Bug is growing up so quickly.  Her list of activities include but are not limited to:
*Climbing on furniutre
*Kissing her little brother
*Trying new things
*Watching Barney (it is a new favorite for her
I'm not such a fan but if it makes her happy we will do it)
*Playing in cars (see previous blog)
*Running around
*Picking fights with her cousins
*Sleeping in her own big bed
*Saying words such as:
Thank You
There you go
Mom, momma, etc. over and over again
Uh hu
Cheese (for the camera)
I am sure there are more but this is all I can think of at the moment.

Jillian really enjoys being without clothing.  

 The story with the next couple of pictures goes something like this:
Mommy was busy feeding Wyatt on the couch one morning and Jillian decided she absolutely had to have a banana right that moment. Mom heard chairs moving around in the kitchen and a little bit of grunting then silence.  Wyatt now has a full belly and Mom goes into the kitchen to see what is going on and this is what she sees.  Jillian has climbed onto the table, got a banana in hand and is successfully getting it open with her teeth.

Papa with Jillian (1), Addyson (1), and Grant (2) doing a little playing on the piano.
 We often will go visit Garon on his lunch break and this was one of those days.  He usually ends up going back to work with food or drink somewhere on his clothing after our visit.
 Jillian has a few nights where she just wants to cuddle and sometimes I am okay with that.  This particular night I don't think she was feeling too well (she recently has had 4 molars cut through all at once) and she passed out with legs crossed, arms up, and hanging out with mom.

Here are some pictures of the little man to show he isn't neglected.  He enjoys hanging out in his swing, bouncy chair, being held, and favorite place to fall asleep is in his bed.

 This one is really dark but she is giving him kisses, again...

Little Grease Monkey

Jillian absolutely loves cars.  Well, she loves big cars.  You know, the ones people drive.  She could spend hours inside just playing.  When Mommy's car needed new brake pads this was right up her alley.  She very much enjoyed playing with Daddy's "toys" and getting all dirty because she was able to play with the car.  She is so stinking cute and full of personality.  Here are a few pictures from the infamous event.

I can do it Dad, just watch!

Needless to say I was in dire need of new brake pads, there was no pad left on the old ones.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Fear of the Unknown

So what do you do when you have 6 long hours in front of a computer with nothing to do? Pour out your worries into cyber-space for all to criticize. Well, as the Tidwell Family faces big changes on the horizon, I worry about what is to come. The not knowing is something that I don't handle very well.

December 14 will mark the end of my career as an undergrad student. I will be the new owner of a piece of paper that has costs more money that I care to think about. I gave up even more money per year to go to school because my job at Dupont would allow me to get an education. And now that the education has been obtained, the fear of whether I can pay for this education is starting to set in.

So let me recap. I gave up roughly $65,000 per year worth of income from a manual labor job. It took me 4 1/2 years to finish the degree. Minus the income I have made, we have an oppurtunity cost of $200,000. Then we look at the added expense of getting the degree and still living day to day. I probably should see how much student loan debt we are in, but it is up there. My education, from an economic accounting perspective, has cost more than a quarter of a million dollars! Now that I have an education, the job market is gone to crap and I'm going to be lucky to land a job making $35,000 a year. Man that hurts to say out loud.
I wish I didn't focus on numbers so much. That is why I'm so grateful for my loving bride. She always helps me focus on what is important. If I would have stayed at the manual labor job, I would have never met her, would not be in the beautiful state of Arkansas, have two wonderful kids and an education that has bettered my life more than what money can make up for.

As I close this November, I want to say that I am very grateful for the chance to have obtained an education. I'm grateful for my eternal companion that has put up with my stressed out brain and lack of interaction in the three and a half years we have been married. I'm so grateful for the support of our family and friends that have made this journey possible. Last but not least, I want to give thanks to my Father in Heaven for watching out for our little family. We have had a great struggle, but have never wanted for anything. He has always given us in our time of need. As I focus on this next chapter of our life and look at the unknown before me, I pray that I will not fear but put my faith in God and feel for his direction through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Adventures

Wow, I believe that is really all I can say about today! :)

Life has proven to be rather interesting with two little ones at home, it is busy, fun, exciting, trying, frustrating, surprising, interesting, eventful, and so much more.  I am going to take a moment and share with you how my day went today, this hasn't been a typical day and I can only pray that it doesn't become the "norm".

The morning started off pretty normal, children woke up between 6 and 7 a.m. and I had no desire to get out of bed so their amazing Daddy came to the rescue while I convinced myself that it was time to get up and get going for the day.  Diapers were changed and breakfast got started.  Jillian of course  cannot wait for breakfast to be cooked so she has a banana and her milk to help hold her over and Wyatt is pretty chill at this point because he just had a bottle not too long ago (I honestly can't remember the time because too much has happened since this morning and now).

We leave the house around 10:00 a.m. to go run some errands, nothing special.  We arrive back home at noon and Jillian is passed out in her car seat and Wyatt is starting to wake up because he is ready to eat again.  I managed to get Jillian inside and in bed without waking her up (she was purely exhausted), and Wyatt gets his lunch fix from Daddy.  I start making lunch for Garon so he can eat before he heads out the door for work.

Fast forward time to about 1:15 p.m., this is when my day starts getting a little interesting.  Garon leaves the house to go to work for the evening.  Both kids are awake and Jillian is yelling bye in a happy voice but then watches Daddy leave and starts screaming (not unusual for her, don't worry it doesn't last long at all).  She comes back to the living room and starts vigorously loving on her little brother.  She absolutely adores him, lots of hugs, kisses, hand shakes, arm pulls, etc.  It has come to the point that I have to grow those eyes in the back of my head that all moms are supposed to have because our little angel will try to pick her brother up and she has actually succeeded in this task.  So we play pass the baby back and forth for a little bit, read a book, and play on the floor.

At about 2:30 p.m. I decided I should probably start dinner so I can have time to cook it and get everything together in time to make it to Garon by 4:30.  Wyatt is asleep in his bed and Jillian is following me around wanting more attention.  She has been teething a lot lately and I was trying to get things done so I gave her a popsicle, placed her in her chair and let her go to town.  This worked great, she ate the whole thing and didn't even make a huge mess.  2:45 Wyatt wakes up and is not a happy camper, I am at a point where I can't really stop but I do anyway.  I get Jillian wiped down, get Wyatt out of bed and put him in the bouncy chair in the kitchen so he can see what is going on.  Jillian is excited her brother is awake again so the loving has started over.  I am watching her out of the corner of my eye to make sure she doesn't tackle the poor little guy and occasionally I could be heard saying "be gentle" or "softly" .  She got really quiet and he wasn't making much noise so I looked over to see that Jillian had gone to his room, pulled a brand new package of refill wipes into the kitchen and had half of Wyatt's diaper off.  YES, MY ONE YEAR OLD WAS TRYING TO CHANGE HER BROTHER'S DIAPER!!!  Quickly, I had to stop what I was doing, go get a diaper and get him settled back in, she just wanted to help...when he started crying she found his passy and brought it into him.  So while I am getting Wyatt "fixed up", she walks over to the table and pulls a chair up to the refrigerator and proceeds to climb onto the chair in hopes of reaching the m&m's that are on top of the refrigerator (thank heavens she can't reach them, YET!).  So, Wyatt is now clean but still screaming because it is now a little after 3:00 and he thinks he is starving and Jillian is back in her chair with 5 m&m's, you may be surprised at the mess 5 little m&m's can make.

Jillian decides she is done with the m&m's because she has seen me make a bottle and knows I am about to go feed brother (which in turn means more love time for her).  I proceed to wipe her down one more time, pick up Wyatt, mix the bottle, and head to the living room.  Curious George is on PBS and we take a little breather and watch this while Wyatt eats, poops, eats and little more, and poops a lot more.  Jillian decided she needed to do a little system cleansing also so I get both of them cleaned up, get Wyatt to burp (this is no small task), and start getting dinner together because it is now 3:50ish. I get the dinner in the car, get shoes on Jillian and Wyatt is finally loaded in the car seat.  We are ready to go see Daddy for dinner.

Fast forward again to about 5:45.  Jillian is now officially exhausted but I am not letting her go to sleep because I don't want to be up until midnight.  This action results in lots of tantrums, fits, episodes, whatever you would like to call them.  Wyatt is in and out of sleep but hanging out happily in his crib.  6:00 gets here and guess what time it is again, it is time to make a bottle and feed the little man, Jillian is giving her loves but not so many this time because she is tired and she thinks she should get all of the attention right now.  I am feeding Wyatt and she decides to climb up on my lap, she helped burp him and both kiddos were cuddled on me as I rocked them.  The night from this point starts to go pretty smooth.  Wyatt is in bed by about 7, a little early so it may be a rough night but we shall see, and Jillian now has me all to herself.  She is happy being held and rocked but she started to get tired so she got down and found random things to get into, one of the favorites is the drawer on the entertainment center with all her diapers.  At about 7:45 the tantrums started back up so I said, "let's go lay down and get ready for bed".

Without a fight we went in her room, laid on her bed, said prayers, and sang some songs.  I had a very motherly moment this evening as I was putting my precious, wild, crazy, loving little girl to bed.  I looked at her and noticed how grown up she was becoming, she is getting so big but is still so little at the same time.  We sang an assortment of songs but the one that made me tear up tonight was "You Are My Sunshine".  This little girl lights up my life everyday.  She has stolen my heart  and I hope she never gives it back.  She truly is my sunshine and she brings so much joy to my life.  Even when I have trying days or moments she helps me laugh instead of scream.  Children really do bring out the best in us.  We did in fact have many heart to heart moments today but I suppose that just comes with the territory.  I feel so blessed to have these two amazing children, to have a loving and supportive husband, to have family I can call on when I just need an encouraging word or a moment of motivation.  I am living my dream, I am doing what I have always wanted.  My life at this moment is not always easy but I am loving every minute of it.  The laundry may get backed up, the dishes may have to wait, my floor may not always be perfectly vacuumed but I have two little angels named Jillian and Wyatt who make my home the welcoming place that it is.