Friday, May 04, 2012

Mom-spirations- Jackie

Jackie W. 

Remember that little red-headed girl Charlie Brown was crazy about? That is Jackie. Mainly because she has this amazing curly red hair. Jackie, or J-Dub as I like to call her, and I go way back. Like lunches in the quad at MHS. Then we had this crazy night club hopping in Las Vegas once in our 20's. Now a days, she is still cool as anything and she is a Mom to 2 gorgeous kids. If they ever make a live action Strawberry Shortcake movie, Jackie's daughter would have to play her. That is how cute (and red-headed) she is. These days Jackie and I swap hair braiding tutorials, but she still throws in a good "your mom" for old times sake. Jackie is open and honest, fun, slightly obsessed with a certain book series and a really great Mom. I asked J-Dub a few questions...

How many kids do you have ?
I have two fabulous and very different children. Liam is 5 and Taylor is a few weeks shy of 4.

Will you have more?  
Unfortunately no. When we found out Taylor was a girl we were so excited and we decided that since we were blessed with one of each this would be where we ended it. My husband is 13 years older and he didn’t want to be retiring and have young kids in the house still. Once I had Taylor and was elbow deep in diapers, bottles, vomit, etc I was convicted that 2 was enough. When Taylor was 8 months old my husband had a vasectomy. Looking back it was the worst decision we made. My uterus aches to have another baby.
What are your feelings on helicopter parents? 
I think, after looking up the definition, I have slight “helicopter” tendencies. I’m starting to let the kids work their issues out themselves but I always want to be their problem solver and be all up in their business. I’m working on it.

 Are you a Nap Nazi? Stickler for routine and schedules? 
I am definitely a nap Nazi and a stickler for routines and schedules. It’s how I was able to function with two kids close in age. Liam was a great baby and easy to get on a schedule early. Taylor wasn’t on a nap schedule until she was around 8 months old. But, yes, the clock dictated when or where we went with our kids. I envy mom’s who just go with the flow with their kids and not live by a nap schedule. I think I’m wound a little too tight for that much leeway. 

Most surprising thing about parenthood?
The most surprising thing about parenthood is how you can see yourself in your kids. Liam is so much like me personality wise and Taylor is so much like my husband. I love how this job leaves me exhausted at the end of the day. Weird, I know…but if you think about it you cannot ever get this day back with your kids. Tomorrow they’re one day older than yesterday…you have to grab the time with them now!

Is your partner the type of parent you imagined them to be? 
 Yes. I mean…I didn’t really have any preconceived ideas regarding his capabilities as a father but I do think the older the kids get the better he is. He even admits he wasn’t fond of the baby stage but now they’re older he’s really enjoying teaching them life skills.

Where did your kids names/nicknames come from?
 Liam is Irish for William. When I was younger I had picked out my “if I ever had a son” name and it was William Scott. William was always such a strong name for me and Scott because I wanted to name my first born son after my older brother. Well, God has a sense of humor because I married a William Scott. When we found out we were having a boy we tossed around the idea of a “jr” but we decided we didn’t want a jr. I said, “well, we could call him Will” and my mother in law said she was going to call him “Willy.” After stating I didn’t particularly like that nickname she said she didn't care and she was going to call him what she wanted. Soooooo, I looked further into the name and discovered that “Liam” means William in Gaelic. I love the name Liam and that’s when we decided on Liam Scott Wall. Taylor’s name is a bit different. My “if I ever had a girl” name was Emma. I loved, loved, loved the name Emma. Then Jennifer Aniston had to go and have a little girl on Friends and name her Emma and soon that name rocketed to #1 on popular baby girl name lists. When we had her we didn’t know what to name her. Savannah? No. Riley? No. Emma? No. Gracie? No. Georgia? No. Fine. You name her. So, my husband named her Taylor and I got Emma in there as the middle name. Looking back I wish I had stuck my middle name in there for her also and made her name Taylor Emma Louise Wall…we still might do it. Her nickname is Tay-bug and she got it because of her love of bugs and all things bug-ish.

Did you enjoy pregnancy?
 I loved both pregnancies. I love giving birth also. Loved it. Loved the pain of childbirth and the reward when it was all done. 

What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
 Probably to listen to my heart and raise my kids the way I think is best regardless of what anybody else does/says.

What is your favorite baby gear? Must haves?
For my son it was that Jolly Jumper that went in the doorway. He loved that thing! The best baby gear for Taylor was her older brother. She was fine as long as she could be doing whatever he was doing.

What is your parenting philosophy?
 My parenting philosophy?? I don’t know that I have one. I’m one of habits, schedules, rules, and structure. My day goes best when I’m on schedule with my kids. 

When you were 16 did you imagine your life would end up where it is now?
Yes…it just took a bit longer. I always wanted to be a mom, not a career woman. I wanted to be married at 19 and have kids shortly after. I’m there now…it just took a few years longer. I was 27 when I got married, 28 when I had Liam and 30 when I had Taylor.

What is the ideal Mother’s Day gift?
 This is a loaded question. On a day when I haven’t had my fill of my kids and my husband my perfect mothers day would be spending it with them doing something outside. When I’ve had my fill of my responsibilities then the perfect mother’s day would begin the night before in a hotel room by myself and end the next night in my own bed. I’d love a full 24 hours of not having to wipe someone, get something for someone,  make lunch, do dishes, laundry, etc. Of course it would all be waiting for me when I got home…but you get the idea.

How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship after kids? 
We flirt. Makes me giggle just thinking about it. 

How did having kids change your marriage/relationship? 
It’s a constant process but I’m learning to not take our time together for granted because you never know when you’ll have time again. It’s made us a stronger unit and I feel like I really have a partner.

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids? 
With Taylor I love painting, coloring, cutting out things and creating art. With Liam I love to do workbooks with him and to listen to him read to me. Together we love to dance!

What was your favorite book from childhood?
One of them was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I also loved the Ramona series and the Babysitter’s Club when I was older.

 How do you deal with discipline in your house?
 I pour myself a glass of wine. I have two very different kids. Liam is a pleaser. He doesn’t step outside the bounds much and requires very little discipline although he is the type that is passive aggressive…his misbehavior is usually very subtle. Taylor is a typical kid.  She’s a button pusher so she requires a little more “intervention.” My husband is a spanker and I’m  a yeller…together it’s a great combination.

Do you have a picky eater? How do you handle that? 
Liam is the WORST eater on the planet. He ate jarred baby food until he was 15 months old. I blame a very sensitive gag reflex on his inability to eat regular food. Any time I tried to give him something solid he would gag and choke. His diet until he was 4 was mainly yogurt, toast, all types of fruit, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He didn’t eat pasta, rice, any type of animal protein, eggs, pizza, French fries, macaroni and cheese, etc. I went round and round with his pediatrician about this. His philosophy was if Liam were in Afghanistan and this was all he had to eat, he’d eat it. Just give him one meal a day until he eats it. Make him dinner for breakfast and that’s all he can have until he eats it. I think when Liam was about 18 months old I tried this. This kid of mine didn’t eat anything for 48 hours. It killed me. KILLED ME! That’s when I realized there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he was eating at the time. It was healthy and I just needed to go with my gut instinct. So what if he didn’t eat what I made for dinner? So what? Is he eating McDonalds? No. Is he eating chicken nuggets? No. I caved and finally fed him and he at two pb&j sandwiches, 10 strawberries, and had like 3 graham crackers. When he was just about 4 we told him when he turned 4 he would have to try chicken. He did. He finally got better with not gagging on his food and now he’s 5 and he’ll eat just about anything I put in front of him. He may not like it but he’ll try it. Taylor started eating table food at 8 months and never ate a jar of baby food. Period. Her favorite meal is spaghetti or steak with A-1 sauce. Could my kids be any different?? I just feel bad that I wasted all those years trying to force my kid to eat something he didn’t want to eat and punishing him for it. He doesn’t seem scarred but I am.
What is your favorite meal to make for your kids?
 Anything they will eat. Spaghetti and garlic bread for Taylor and green beans and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Liam.

Where do you go first when you need parenting advice? 
My mom. 

Are you more relaxed with your second child? 

Very relaxed. It’s just a stage, right? That’s what I tell myself when I hit a tough patch with my kids. 

Who  is your Mom-spiration? 
My mom. She raised 3 kids and was a stay at home mom for years. If she can do it so can I.

I asked Jackie's Mom, (that's right J-Dub, YOUR MOM) to share her thoughts on her daughter in her role of motherhood...

"My daughter, Jackie, is a wonderful and amazing person. She has always been this way to me so, it was no surprise to see Jackie embrace the role of a Mom so naturally. Blessed with a son and a daughter, Jackie is a confident and nurturing Mommy. One only has to experience a short amount of time with her children to see what happy little creatures they are. Like any Mom, Jackie has faced challenges in child rearing and will continue to do so. If we know anything as Moms we know there are challenges. This doesn't seem to intimate Jackie. She has a loving family, great friends and her Faith. All from which she can gather strength. She doesn't complicate life. Jackie is a Mom who is loving, giving, strict and she is FUN. If you were to stop by her home at any given time you might find her reading a book to Liam and Taylor Emma, building Legos, or playing in the backyard with them, maybe watching a video or maybe sitting for a quiet moment while Taylor naps and Liam is busy with his own activity. She and I were talking on the phone a few days ago. She told me she really needed to go because she and Taylor were going to climb a mountain (imaginary) on their way to Taylor's bedroom. Description: Did I mention Jackie's goodness and how she spreads it around? Description:, I will save that for another story. Thank you, Elissa, for asking me to be apart of this fun event. Happy Mother's Day to you, to Jackie and to all the Moms!"

Happy Mother's Day J-Dub! Thanks for being so honest and open. You are rad, but you already knew that.  I adore you and I am so happy to have you in my life. 


  1. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Jackie you look exactly the same as you did in high school!! do you not age? ...(thats a complement by the way)


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