Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sorry, Daddy.

If you think your name is on that piece of chocolate, Daddy,
then you are wrong.

If you think you hid it so I could not find it, Daddy,
then you are wrong.

If you think I cannot make a way to get that chocolate, Daddy,
then you are wrong.

If you think I am going to tell you the truth about it, Daddy,
then you are wrong.

If you think my face can tell the whole story, Daddy...
well, then you'd be right!

Will Steal for Chocolate from Jenna Johnson on Vimeo.

This Doggy is NOT Funny.

Last weekend for my birthday, we headed to the local Cracker Barrel with the whole family.  It's never a quick trip to Cracker Barrel with a toddler in tow.  Daniel had nearly fifteen meltdowns to get out of his high chair.  He kept yelling, "Hot!" and pointing at the fireplace and then realized we had fire on our table...  Then, he told every single waitress that passed, "Hello," time and time again.  To keep his attention, we all entertained him with coloring books, biscuits, trains, and tea, and all of that was BEFORE supper even arrived.  At that point, he'd eaten so many strawberry-jellied biscuits that I'm sure the sight of carrots and green beans weren't all that exciting.

Strawberry Jelly on your Biscuit?
Yes, please.

Now, clean my hands.

What WAS exciting was when Grandpa finished eating super quickly and allowed Daniel the opportunity to run wild in Cracker Barrel's country store!  The rest of us enjoyed our meals and finally headed out to see what Daniel and Pa had gotten into.  The kids' section at Cracker Barrel is full of fun.  You would have thought that Daniel was having his own birthday celebration, pulling out every item from its shelf and playing with it until it bored him.  Surprisingly, though, there was one "toy" Daniel didn't find too amusing.  What's funny about it is the fact that it laughs itself silly, rolls all around, and just about scares Daniel to death!

The Laughing Doggy from Jenna Johnson on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

28 is Great!

I turned 28 five days ago, and can I tell you that, although I am quickly approaching thirty, I had one of the best birthdays I have ever had!  I was spoiled rotten all weekend long and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I got some very thoughtful gifts ranging from clothes and my favorite ice cream cake to BareMinerals makeup, a Willow Tree figurine, gift certificates galore, and money!  Who said getting older wasn't great?!

It always had snowed on my birthdays in years past...  In fact, we just expect it.  Even if there isn't snow in the forecast, I know it's coming.  I've had parties cancelled and rescheduled for as along as I can remember.  So, when they called for snow days before my birthday, it too was almost as if it was God's gift to me.  :)

Here are some pictures from my birthday weekend:

Daniel enjoying Mommy's birthday snow...

Daniel decides to give Mommy a break on her birthday
and feeds Samuel for her.

Okay, nevermind how we look! 
Mom and me at dinner
(Who forgets to wear makeup on her birthday?!)

Eating his strawberry biscuit at Cracker Barrel on Mom's birthday.

Marble Slab Ice Cream cake!

Finally, a picture of the birthday girl!
Daniel helps Mommy open her present.

Samuel loves on Mommy before bed.

But, before going to bed, Samuel surprises her
by crawling on his hands and knees
for the very first time...
on her birthday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

8 Months Old

I know...  Samuel is getting way. too. big.

In his 8th month, Samuel:
Slept so well... on his stomach.
Wore size 3 diapers.
Fit in size 6-9 month clothes.
Wore a size 2 shoe.
Scooted across the house.
All over it.
Got TWO teeth!
Loved laying on his belly.
Enjoyed his first Christmas.
Got a new Britax car seat and lots of clothes, toys, and shoes.
Liked rolling the ball.
Laughed at his brother a lot.
Was always grinning.
Switched to formula.
Ate at least one jar of food each day.
Hated peas and sweet potatoes.
Loved all fruits.
COULD NOT eat Puffs yet.
Found the tiniest pieces of trash/dirt on the floor.
Still in his infant car seat.
Started getting heavy.
Hated sitting up.
Began liking the exersaucer...
Because he could stand and not sit.
Had favorite toys...  rattles and links.
Tolerated Daniel's roughness.
Took long naps.
Had eczema on his belly, arms, stomach, and face.
Loved his bath and scooting around the tub.
Was held often...  He was SO sweet!
Celebrated his Mommy's 28th birthday.
Took his first major, balanced crawl on his hands and knees that same day.

One very, precious present...
Samuel's first Christmas 2010

Cutting teeth during the Christmas season
and hanging with Pa

Sitting with Daddy

Laughing at Pa...

With cousin Landon

Rolling the ball around the living room

Playing in the exersaucer

Sitting up on his own all the time

Sharing his toys with Daniel

Letting big brother feed him

With Mommy on her 28th birthday!

Crawling isn't so hard...

And, just because he's so sweet...
here's a video I got of him one afternoon during his 8th month.
Get That Ball! from Jenna Johnson on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Very Blessed Birthday

It is hard to find words when the place you find yourself in is one of humility. 

I feel as though God has poured out His love and shown me His grace so greatly in the past year that I cannot begin to explain how deeply thankful I am.  I have been on the mountain and felt such peace, yet I have experienced the terrifying walk through the valley.  I have faced some of my deepest fears, and I have been given the opportunity to love and do so deeply. 

Last year, as I celebrated my birthday, I did so with a growing belly and a little one learning to walk.  I knew life would be different in the coming year.  The following month, my life literally flashed before my eyes as Brian and I were in a car wreck on the interstate, hitting the concrete median twice going 70 mph.  I remember holding my husband's hand as the car was spinning...  I wanted him to KNOW I loved him.  I recall seeing the excitement in Daniel Benjamin's face as he tore into his birthday cupcake.  I was filled with such joy that day as so many friends and family came to celebrate our first born's big day with us.  Yet, joy quickly turned to fear on Daniel's actual birthday three days later when I began bleeding.  I was only 33 weeks along in this 3rd pregnancy, and as we raced to the hospital, I knew the outcome wouldn't be good.

I can still see the concern in my doctor's eyes as he monitored my condition.  It was too early...  I needed to be moved to a hospital where there was a NICU.  I was rushed in an ambulance to Baptist where I spent the next 7 days away from Daniel, in pre-term labor, imagining what it'd be like to have two children born in the same month, only one year apart.  I couldn't wait to see the child's face!  I remember praying in that hospital room, burning up from the medication to prevent the contractions, asking God to let the baby come.  After a few more visits to the OB and 10 days of bedrest, Samuel Levi was born healthy in my 38th week on May 23rd after a quick twelve minutes of "delivery". 

I still do not know how we made it through those first few months with two babies in the house.  We were both so exhausted and frustrated over constant cries.  I suppose we couldn't have done it without the help of our family; God supplied our every need.  When summer came and went, both boys had grown so much.  I was painting as much as I could, and I was struggling to find time for everyone that needed me.  As the fall came, we took our first vacation as a family of four, and upon returning from that trip, we learned we were pregnant a fourth time.  I was certain the baby was a girl, almost immediately, but with very few symptoms and a disappointing ultrasound, December ended with the pain of losing Elisabeth Joy.

The final month of my 27th year has been both heartbreaking and filled with happiness.  I struggled in the first few days following the miscarriage.  I wanted my child's life to be validated.  I was not angry; I was simply saddened by the fact that I would never hold this baby.  Oh, but how the Lord has filled my arms!  Daniel became so loving, giving hugs and his special "muah" kisses at the most perfect times.  Samuel needed me as he became more mobile and began solid foods; he loved being held, even when I felt that I didn't have time to do so.  The snow fell more often (as it usually does around my birthdays), and I was filled with happiness watching Daniel and his Daddy enjoy trampling through the cold.  We ate snow cream like it was going out of style, and we loved a little bit deeper. 

I don't know how, but I continue to be reminded of how much God must care for me.  I look around my home and see all these things I do not deserve.  I had such pride as Samuel crawled on his hands and knees for the first time today.  I watched in amazement as Daniel laughed until he was out of breath playing hide and seek with me tonight.  I was completely thrilled seeing the number 2 and 8 candles hidden on the microwave by my sweet husband tonight (he knows how much I love cake).  I have so much more than I ever wished for!

As a blanket of snow covers the ground outside my window in the early hours of this day, my 28th birthday, I am humbled by God's unfailing love.  He has forgiven me of all my sins and was willing to make this day possible for me by giving His life.  He was able to sacrifice Himself so that I might have this day, this very minute even, to share the story of His redemption in my life.  It's unfathomable to me to think of myself that highly, yet He thought of me in that moment...  and He knew I'd be His all these years later. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

21 Months Old


We've noticed that Daniel is quickly approaching two.  Yikes.

In his 21st month, Daniel:
Said the following words and phrases regularly:

  • No.
  • Yeah.
  • Yay!
  • I got it!
  • I did it uh-ghin!
  • Shoe and Sock
  • Uh oh.
  • Oh no.
  • Oh wow!
  • Choo-choo, Twain, Thom-nas (which is Thomas), Sercy (which is Percy)
  • t.b. (which is t.v.)
  • Mommy, Daddy, Sam-nyule
  • Baby
  • Eat (while putting hand in fist to mouth)
  • Car, go, now, owside
  • Peese (which is please)
  • Tank you
  • Cuh-lor! (telling you what he wants to do)
  • Cackee, Cracka (what he wants to eat)
  • Night, Night
  • More and I want more.
  • Plus, a hundred other words and random phrases...
Sang the following songs:
  • Old McDonald (the cow is his best)
  • Caillou theme song
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • Most of the alphabet
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Asked for cookies and crackers, all of the time.
Liked apples, "nanas", grapes, cheese, and veggie sticks.
Spit out things he didn't like.
Had a hand phobia...  dirty, wet, or just a notion of something...
He'd walk up with hands outstretched until you cleaned them.
Pretended to blow his nose...  HILARIOUS.
Almost always lined up his trains and trucks.
Went to Chuck E Cheese's for the first time.
Really enjoyed skee ball and the animated characters.
Ended up with 96 tickets...
Had a difficult time choosing prizes.
Loved his two red suckers the most!
Wore a size 7 shoe.
Still fit into size 18-24 month clothes.
Still in size 4 diapers.
Liked brushing his teeth.
Went to bed like a BIG BOY!
No crying... 
Really loved his first Christmas gift:  Cars sound book.
Had two more favorite gifts at Christmas...
1) Thomas Misty Island Rescue train set and
2) John Deere motorized tractor with wagon.
Was spoiled rotten.
Got more trains and cars than we can count.
Talked more and more.
Said "No" way too often.
Loved music...  and dancing.
Was big into tools and hammering.
Colored on walls and front doors.
Always ripped pages out of books.
Kissed and hugged all of the time.
Enjoyed playing in the snow and ignored the cold.
Threw tantrums.  A LOT OF THEM.
Went to his friend, Izzy's 2nd birthday party.
Hugged on her!
Could shoot a basketball.
Made Samuel cry often.
Had a favorite animal:  doggy.
(We are not getting a doggy.)
Made animal sounds.
Missed school over winter break!

Lining up cars...

Enjoying the show at Chuck E. Cheese

Loving every second of skee ball

Opening his first gift of Christmas 2010

This gift will NEVER be beat!

Other than by this track!

Working away...

Giving Gunner some hugs
Playing with Mommy in the snow

Our little ham

Talking on the phone while lining up cars and trains

Riding with Izzy

Izzy's party

Playing with brother

Another snow day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I knew having two children would be tough...  but I completely forgot how difficult parenting is when your little ones begin moving.  Daniel's been getting around this house since he was 3 or 4 months old, so when Samuel took his sweet time in doing the same, I wasn't complaining.  However, it's happened.  Samuel is moving.  He's not necessarily crawling, but Samuel rolls and scoots his way around this house, completely keeping up with Daniel or finding a way to his Mommy's feet when he wants to be held. 

He is amazing. 

What's not so amazing is that I now have two kids on the move!  It's becoming a daily chore of mine to keep Daniel from climbing up his dresser, falling off the back of the couch, and using baskets, toys, and even his little brother as step stools.  Amidst keeping up with Daniel, it's also my priority to move Samuel when he's rolled himself into the t.v. stand, wedged himself underneath the chairs, and scooted himself on top of a toy train (which, believe me, is not all that comfortable).  It's a busy schedule I keep.

When I have a moment with just one boy, though, I like to lay in the floor with him.  It is in these moments when some of my most precious memories have been made.  A few weeks ago, Daniel had laid down for a nap, and Samuel and I were busy getting into Daniel's train tracks.  In the video I got of him, he's desperately trying to get the door to the Misty Island cave (it's a Thomas & Friends' thing, in case you didn't know).  I realized quickly that my little one was growing very quickly because he knew what he wanted and he was not afraid to get it!

A Little Scooter from Jenna Johnson on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

There's a Lot Going on Here

I caught this video of the boys the other day, and I have GOT to share it.  They were both sitting in Samuel's new playplace, loving on one another.  Love quickly turned rough, and Samuel liked sitting on his own rather than with his big brother.  So, Daniel decided to help Mommy video Samuel.  It's a busy video, but if you'll watch carefully, you'll see that a lot goes on here every single moment of the day.  Brothers hugging, Samuel sitting, Daniel talking, and Mommy taping.  It's the life!

Brother, Get Off of Me. from Jenna Johnson on Vimeo.

I also managed to get some pictures of the sweetness...

He's a Baller...

Yes, my son definitely has some b-ball skills.  My Pop got Daniel the cutest Little Tikes basketball goal for Christmas, and a few months back, Pop brought a vintage, autographed Vandy basketball (from his exclusive collection) for Daniel to have as a keepsake.  I have no idea on earth what year it's from or if it'd even be worth anything, so when Daniel kept having a conniption over this "bawl" (Daniel's "ball" has quite the southern drawl) on the top shelf in his closet, I had to let him have it.

The kid can shoot.  I mean, he really does.  Daniel is steps or so away from the goal, and he'll shoot and make it...  every time.  He's good, and I don't say that lightly.  He somehow always hits the square and manages to make shots.  For a kid who's not even two yet, I'd say that is pretty amazing. 

The best part about this is that Daniel's Daddy was ALSO a baller.  Brian actually walked onto Union University's basketball team his senior year, and in high school, he was known as "Burnout."  Yeah, he was good!  He still plays ball to this day...  He meets with a group of no telling how many men on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the crack of dawn (that is, when the boys haven't kept him up all night) to play basketball, and I'm serious, he loves it.  Any time we're out, we always run into "one of the guys" that plays with him.  I like that my husband is active and loves this sport, which makes it so fitting that his first born son is taking up with it too. 

So, with all that said, here's a little video of Daddy and Daniel being the ballers they are the other day in Daniel's room...

He's a Baller. from Jenna Johnson on Vimeo.

Oh, I can't post without mentioning our littlest Johnson baller...


Samuel loves sports too.  He was having a blast scooting and pushing this big kickball around!  It's official, I'm in a house FULL of boys, and my future is looking very much in the direction of bleachers...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Does Your Child Do This?!

It's been happening a little over a month now.  My 20-month-old has a very strange habit.  It's not a bad one; it's just different.  As a teacher, I've worked with all ages and types of children, but this is something I've never seen done...  by any of them

Here's when the obsession started.
We were finding "older" toys to donate before Christmas arrived, because we knew Daniel'd have more cars and trains and trucks than he'd know what to do with.  However, we noticed when we pulled out these cars/trucks from the garage, Daniel began lining them up...  with all of their faces facing the same way.

When he got trains for Christmas, he lined them up as well.

When he got home, he put his tracks together and lined every.single.train.and.tender up on the track.

When he realized that he had Cars as well, he lined them up in a separate line.  I suppose because Daniel realized they were "different."

Again, the cars are all facing the same way. 
Impressive for a 20-month-old, right?!

He even lines up his bath squirters!

And, when he got more from his Mema,
he did the very same thing at her house.

Daniel's most impressive car/train/truck/tender line yet!

Today, he decided he could line up his cars and trains in a new place, the chair seat.  He even continued his "line" onto the arm of the chair! 

And, of course, there is always a line of trains somewhere left behind.

So, fellow friends and readers, does your child do this?!  Have you had a child that ever lined up his/her toys?  If so, share it with me.  If not, what do you think this indicates in a 20-month-old?!

I'm certainly hoping it means major organizational skills.  However, if you saw his closet, you'd wonder why he doesn't "line up" his books?!  I'm not worried one bit.  I love this little habit he's gotten into lately.  I'm so amazed by the detailed mind of my little one.