Life is a test. We are not present on earth to just exist; we are here to learn. Life is a lesson. Love one another unconditionally. Love thyself unconditionally. We spend our whole lives learning to do this. Some succeed and some never have a clue. I'm trying. Love my fellow man. Don't react and don't always have to be right. This is one I'll have to work on for the rest of my life. Appreciate each day and recognize positive and negative as a part of life's experiences. Look around me and see life at it's best. The joys of living come as you strive to achieve your dreams. Its the quality of each day that is important, not the distant dream once achieved. Teach and nurture my children. You can never give them too much love. -Randa Jex 1/1/94

Tuesday, June 28

37 weeks & 4 day Update: He's the size of a 6lb watermelon...OUCH!

Austin, like most 1st babies, is taking his sweet time and it looks like my dream for a July 4 baby is just a dream. I have 2 requests from Austin's uncles: Cory & Alicia would like me to wait until the week after the 4th because they will be in Virginia on the 4th looking for a house and Kellen has requested anytime after the 12th due to his residency schedule. Looks like Austin is siding with his uncles instead of his mommy. Not a good way to start off little buddy.

17 days until the July 15th due date

Progress: 1 1/2cm dilated, 70% effaced...only a slight difference from last week.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I’ve gained 30lbs. One pound gain since last week. In the beginning the doc told me to gain 30-35lbs.

Workouts: Started walking 2 miles in the evenings. It really does feel good and relieves some pressure.

Pregnancy Highlights: Watching Austin's knees and feet poke out of my belly...sure am going to miss this little man moving around! I also love how exciting this time is for me and Zach. We keep saying "this might be the last time..." to almost everything we do. I feel so lucky to have such a sweet man to share this with.

Symptoms: Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions in lower belly, feet and ankles very sensitive to swelling if I'm not guzzling water and propping feet up. I've given up salty food until he's just not worth the pain of being swollen.

Today I had a really great moment at the doctor's office. No, it was not the 2 1/2 hour wait due to the doctor being in surgery and it was definitely not the fact that I was the only patient in the waiting room that found it necessary to come to the gynecological unaccompanied. People, is it really appropriate to bring your mother, 2 children, sister, and husband/boyfriend to the gyno. Most of the women weren't even pregnant and they had a posse of 5+ people...oh and here is the kicker, they not only accompanied them in the waiting room but also back to the lab and the room. Ewww!

Okay, off my soapbox and back to my wonderful nurse practitioner came in with a nurse practitioner student doing her residency. As they looked over my chart, she points to my stats and says "now this is what a perfect pregnancy looks like"... then looked at me and said "not to mention an awesome patient that has not complained"...then looked back at the resident and said "don't get your hopes up, you won't see many of these". That is when it hit me that after MONTHS of worrying and praying every single night that God give me a healthy baby or the strength to manage the we were, 3 days away from being full term and God has blessed us with a wonderful pregnancy and a healthy and fully developed baby. I have never been so thankful and awed by the entire perfectly timed process.

Random weekend where nothing went as planned

This weekend set the tone for the next few weeks I’m sure….teaching me that I can plan, plan, plan... however things will happen as they will. To start off, here I am at 37 1/2 weeks with what looks like a beach ball under my dress.
I took a vacation day Friday to help Mom & Dad unpack but as I mentioned before, my poor ankles were still pretty swollen so I was forced to only unpack boxes that I could reach while sitting down. In doing so, I finally discovered someone that rivals Lisha in the office supply hoarding department. I hadn’t seen so many sharpies, highlighters and post-it notes since I lived with Lisha in college. I think hoarding might be the wrong word for these office supply maniacs because they both have the most organized collections you will ever see. So even though I had planned on being a huge asset that day, my assistance was limited to unpacking Mom’s overly organized office supplies, unpacking Dad’s endless alphabetized DVD collection, and filling the bookcase with books. Lackluster at best.

That evening Zach packed up and went to the church for the youth group’s summer canoe trip. About 30 minutes after I dropped him off I get a call that he decided to stay because he was worried about me- going into labor, not staying off my feet, overdoing it, etc. He is already becoming the most thoughtful daddy and I was so glad to have him around for one of our last weekends before the baby!

By Saturday, my ankles were doing much better and I was even up for the grocery store. I had planned on cooking some banana bread and organizing Austin’s closet, however when I got home from the grocery store a nice little wasp decided to attack my shin as Zach and I were unloading the car. You have got to be kidding me… it was back to the couch for me…this time with gooey baking soda paste on my leg. The picture on the left is in the morning (my skin felt so tight like it would pop) and the right is after having it elevated all day to keep the swelling down where I was stung.

So here is Austin’s poor closet….it is a mess and I will be so embarrassed if he has to come home from the hospital to this…what a bad first impression. I can just see him rolling his eyes at me in disgust. Hopefully we can tackle it this weekend as long I can stay away from wasps. I did manage to finish his laundry that goes in the dresser- onesies, blankets, bibs, burp clothes, etc. And his hospital bag is packed and ready for departure!

My plan is to distract Austin from his unorganized closet with his stuffed animal posse! They decided to congregate in his crib as a welcome home surprise!

Zach and I came across Green Button and White Button, his blankeys that he toted everywhere as a child. Although he hoped we could pass them down to Austin, I think it’s a better idea for Austin to have his own NEW, CLEAN set of blankeys. However these will find a special place in the nursery!

Wednesday, June 22

Welcome to Natchez Dale & Lynell!!!

Moving day....
truck arrived at 9:15am....
rain arrived at 9:20am (boo!)...
truck left at 9pm 18,000 lbs lighter (seriously, they weighed the truck!)
But it ended up being a really nice day around 11am. Overcast and cooler than normal- perfect moving conditions!
Here is Theodore wandering around the house looking for mom. The pups were so confused but once the living room rug came in, they rolled around on the familiar smell and finally took a nap.
So they have officially moved to Mississippi! You can’t imagine how happy it makes me to say those words. I know I would be a lot more nervous right now about the baby if it wasn't for the peace I get knowing Mom and Dad will be here to help us. It might be as small as walking our sad and neglected dogs, washing towels or cooking dinner but it will make a world of difference to us as we try and settle in with our little man. My grandparents are coming to Natchez tonight to help them get settled- mom and grandma are super-duper organizers so I can't wait to see the house transform into a home. Also papa is bringing the family cradle that he made for Aunt Lynette's babies and then refinished it so we could use it for Austin! We are so excited. Speaking of organized, here is some of my mom's handiwork....she had drawn diagrams of the upstairs and downstairs for the movers and then each room had a sign on the door so they could easily differentiate the attic from the kitchen. Just in case they got confused :) Just picking on you mom...that is a great idea!

I pulled a mean trick on one of the movers. The guys were so nice and one stopped to chat with me and asked "When are you due"...I replied "Due for what?" and gave him a blank stare. His face dropped and I could tell he wanted to crawl into the cardboard box he was carrying. Then I gave him a big smile and told him I was just kidding and that our baby would be here in 2-3 weeks. He looked so relieved and I couldn't help but laugh. That trick just won't get old. Oh but I'm sure I will get a taste of my own medicine when someone asks me that question a month after the baby is born. Ouch!

Everyone has been so nice to Mom & Dad! We met their nextdoor neighbor and their across the street neighbor Smokey. Your typical southern men sitting on Smokey's front porch enjoying a glass of whiskey under the stars. Then a couple we go to church will delivered dinner and dessert to their house last night. People are so thoughtful!

What is my role in all of this chaos, you ask?? Well I have a rolley chair and a foot stool that I direct from. I will assemble a lamp here and there but mostly I just give my decorating advice on where certain pieces of furniture should go. I know it sounds great, not having to lift a finger and just giving orders, but it is so hard for me not to dive in and help move boxes and furniture. I actually started to help a little and then my legs and ankles began to swell like hotdogs on the grill. No kidding, you could press you fingers into my ankles and leave a 1/4" indention. That is when I decided, and was instructed by Mom & Dad, to sit down and stay there.

Dear Lauren and Lisha...

I know I have been a bad blogger...thank you for being such caring friends to "remind" me that you guys needed a total update on our life including lots of pics. And no, Lisha, nothing is wrong....I have just been large and lazy!

Austin is so lucky to have such loving Aunties.

I'm back on the blog wagon.

Big Mamma

37 Week Update

Before I begin Austin's update I am so excited that we found out Austin will have 3 little girlfriends on the way! My best buddy and her hubby found out they are having another girl in early November! Congrats Lauren and Brandon!! Then our friends Lauren and Wes found out baby #2 is going to be a girl, also due in November. Then to top off the girl streak, our friends Laura and John found out they will be welcoming a girl in November as well....and have already decided on a name and I am totally obsessed with it....Quinn! I think it's so unique and beautiful (just like her mommy!) Austin is really excited that he will have so many lovely ladies in his life!

So here I am at 36 weeks, 5 days....Large and In Charge!

23 days until the July 15th due date

Progress: 1cm dilated, 70% effaced (my doc touched Austin's head!) Weekly appointments are going very well. I tested negative for Strep B (whoo hoo!) and my stomach measurement is increasing each week right on schedule.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I’ve gained 29lbs. Austin is weighing in around 6lbs. (FYI- everything is an estimate depending the measurements they take of his bones and body. Just in case you were as curious as I was about how they were able to weigh him)

Workouts: Officially stopped Turbo Kick 2 weeks ago. We are getting a treadmill today (thanks Mom & Dad) so I will continue to walk indoors but I think walking outside is not an option. It’s far too hot even after the sun sets.

Pregnancy Highlights: The peace of mind that we have made it so far and even if we delivered tomorrow, this little guy is strong and healthy. We have been so blessed!

Symptoms: Contractions here and there, restless sleep, feet and ankles swell if I am on my feet a lot.

Father's Day & Twin Oaks Baby Shower


This past weekend was Father’s day weekend we celebrated 3 special Jex dads in Natchez- Steve, Zach and Kellen. We had such a wonderful weekend with the Jex family—great meals, lots of laughs with our adorable niece and Sue and I even made time in the 500 degree weather to go to the blueberry farm and pick some yummy berries. We also had Austin’s last baby shower and it was gorgeous. Regina, as always, went all out and hosted the most beautiful baby shower for me at Twin Oaks. I feel like most of the special events in my life take place there…my wedding, Cory’s wedding, my baby shower. Who knows, maybe Austin will marry his Ole Miss sweetheart there too. No pressure baby boy. It was a wonderful shower and I got to spend time with so many lovely ladies that have been so supportive and loving to us over the years. We didn’t open gifts at the shower so it was so much fun to bring them home and open them with the family! I am so glad Zach got to be part of all the fun for once! We were overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the wonderful things Austin received…he officially has more stuff than Zach and I combined. What a lucky kid, too bad his nursery looks pretty tragic right now. I just have not had the energy to put all the gifts away but this week Mom and Grandma Ebby are here so I know the nursery will be perfectly organized by the weekend.



Happy Father's Day to our fathers, grandfathers, and my amazing husband that will be a father very soon.

Friday, June 3

Happy Weekend!

Well hello everyone and happy Friday and happy June, where did half the year go?? Our anniversary beach trip was fabulous and for the first time in weeks I found the one position I could lay in for hours without an appendage falling asleep or my back beginning to ache…. flat out on a raft in the pool! It was fabulous and I spent almost all day everyday enjoying the weightlessness and comfort of my $2 Wal-Mart raft! And to top that off I had some yummy seafood, virgin pina coladas and my husband focused on relaxing and not working….so it was a very successful babymoon!

Where I spent the majority of the vacation

Our View

Eating at Hooters- Zach told me I was the best wife ever since I went to Hooters with him pregnant. Major brownie points for that one. But look how happy he is.... and just in case you wondered, that is 20 chicken wings as hot as they come. That boy can eat!

I told Zach about 10 months ago that if and when we got pregnant I would try not to complain since we had been hoping to get pregnant for months with no success. Well now that I am 8 months pregnant, that promise is getting harder and harder to keep. I knew it would be hard to sleep, I’d tear a path in the carpet from the bed to the bathroom and that I would see every part of my body become larger than life. But there are 2 things that I really didn’t anticipate.

First, my feet grew. What?? I already spent a small fortune on a new wardrobe and now you are telling me that for the next 40ish days I have to either buy new shoes too or feel like the fat kid at the bowling alley that asks for a 9 and all they have left are 6 1/2’s. It literally feels like my toes are slowly curling underneath my foot and it forces me to take very small steps. Combine that with my new flailing arm movement and the preggo waddle and I look like I’m doing the “I have 3.2 seconds to make it to the bathroom before this is bad” walk….and YOU know exactly what walk I am talking about. My only relief comes when I wear flip flops or tennis shoes- neither of which meets the work dress code.

Next, my mom told me it would be hard to get up but nobody warned me that I might not be able to get up at all. Last night Zach and I were about to begin our normal routine downstairs of getting everything turned off to go to bed and I attempt to get out of the chair- not one, not two, but three times before I give up and realize Austin has positioned his little butt right in my ribs making it impossible for my body to bend. So I just lie there, as Zach probably sneaks a laugh in the hallway, and wait for the baby to reposition so I can move.

But, hey….our son is healthy and growing so if he wants to sit on my ribs for the next 5 weeks then have at it little buddy! The doctor told is he is 5lbs 6oz and is head down. He is measuring a week ahead of his July 15 due date. Everything looks great and my next appointment will be the first of my weekly visits until his birth.

Here is a picture of me at 34 weeks- sorry I look like a drowned rat, I just finished turbo kick but I thought my attire would do the belly justice. My poor Size M UnderArmour shirt is probably busting at the seams however I refuse to add workout clothes to the list of things I need to buy in a larger size.