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, January 15

Big Boy Club

Yup, that’s right…someone stole my baby and replaced him with this sweet boy.  Zach and I say “he looks so old” almost every morning.  I’m not sure when this will cease to shock us. Two major milestones mark his entrance into the Big Boy Club.

First, we broke him of his paci which wasn’t hard at all and to think I had dreaded it for weeks.  He asked for it around naptime/bedtime the first 2 days and then he just moved on.  Go Austin!

Our next milestone will take place next week when we get his big boy bed down from the attic and attempt to give up the crib.  This scares the bejeezes out of me since he can open doors and his room is upstairs but with the combination of safety knobs, the gate on the stairs, and the squeaky bedroom door I refuse to put WD40 to for the sole reason that I can hear the door open on the baby monitor…..I think I can do it.  I have no idea how he will react.  He has never tried to climb out of his crib, he loves bedtime, and he always sleeps 12 hours nights so I am hopeful that a change in location won’t change these good habits.  Wish us luck-  tips and tricks welcome!

As far as the third component of the BB Club- potty training….I am in NO hurry to begin this process and I personally think he is too young to start.  I find no inconvenience in changing a disposable diaper but I find a huge inconvenience in changing soiled clothes, cleaning soiled carseats, rugs, bedding, etc every few hours. I know everyone has their own opinion but I thought it was ridiculous when I saw someone giving grief to a friend of mine (with a child 1 month older than Austin) on Facebook for not having started her child on potty training.  To each their own and only you know when your child is ready-  my plan is to get Baby Girl in her sleeping routine (hopefully around 7 weeks) and when the fog of the new baby lifts, I may entertain the idea.  He will be approaching 2 at that time and I think that would be a good time if not later.

Monday, January 14

All the lil' Sicklings

Last week we had a full on war with immune systems and the Jexes were not victorious as we went 3 for 3 with a variety of things.
After getting his blood taken- poor baby.

Patient #1: Austin had been fighting a runny nose and cough right before Christmas and last week it finally got to the point where I started to worry it might be something more.  After a flu test and a lengthy dr. appt on Monday he ended up just having a cold.  Thank goodness we have still not had to experience a flu or an ear infection.  We treated with a daily dose of Claritin and weaned off the Cold Medicine but Friday morning he spiked a fever at Mom’s house and was not acting at all like his normal playful self and spent the majority of the day snuggled up on mom in-and-out of sleep.  His fever got worse so Zach and I took him to the after-hours clinic after work.  I was convinced the fever, shallow panting breaths, and sinus drainage meant flu or pneumonia from what other parents were experiencing. After tests and blood-work they said he was fighting a virus- not the flu but one of the 3 billion other things going around right now.  I was so relieved- we continued Claritin and doses of Motrin and Tylenol and by Saturday noon he was fever-free and acting completely normal.  Kids are so resilient. (sorry for all the details but this is how I remember what he had/how we treated so when baby #2 comes along and I have no memory, my blog will help me function as a mother.)

Patient #2:  I can’t remember if/when Zach has ever taken a sick day from work.  He got hit by the sick train and was laid up in bed for 2 full days.  Not sure if it was a severe cold or something more like the flu (since he doesn't believe in going to Drs) but my lil’ sickling was pitiful.  I had two sick boys and life consisted of a lot of medicine, electrolytes, and chicken-noodle-soup.  But since I am the MOM and made of stone I thought I would be the fine and make it through the week unscathed.  No such luck, by Wednesday we had the next victim…

Patient #3: ME L Just a cold but I was so achy and lacked any energy.  I couldn't take time off work since I had too much going on and I needed to save the days for maternity leave so I sat in my office as pitiful as they come, working my way through 2 boxes of tissues and almost blacking out one time (repeat of Austin’s pregnancy).  Oh and I got to end the weekend with the return of 2 days of morning sickness...not cool!

But it looks like we are all back to 100% and I pray that lasts a while.


Christmas Eve...

This Christmas was wonderful for so many reasons.  First, ever since Mom and Dad moved here our highly coveted days off are not spent on the road traveling which is such a huge blessing.  Finishing construction in the new nursery was delayed due to all the rain we were getting so Dad gave us one of the B&B’s for the Jexes to stay in and it worked out perfectly having them just a few streets away.

Although it felt nothing like Christmas Eve outside with the humid 75 degree weather, we enjoyed the day by cooking, taking a wagon/dog walk to the Malt Shop, and then the traditional Christmas Eve gathering at the McCullough’s where we catch up with good friends that have become like family over the years, and eat/drink from a beautiful spread of delicious food and winter drinks.
Our handsome boy on Christmas Eve
Our Christmas Eve Service was beautiful as always and I got Austin from the nursery right in time for Silent Night.  The entire congregation lights a candle and walks outside to the front steps of the church while singing Silent Night.   Austin was in complete awe the entire time seeing the candle light and singing and he even got his own battery operated candle to hold.  This was one of my favorite traditions in my church I grew up in back in Kingwood so I love that our Church here does it too.

Christmas morning...
Sending love to Afghanistan 
Trying to decide what to open first
My hubby's gorgeous wrapping job!

Pure Joy
Christmas morning was so special.  Since the Jexes were in the B&B down the street and my parents were at their house, we spent the early morning as a little family sharing our special gifts, drinking coffee, and having breakfast together.  My favorite part of Christmas morning is sitting on the couch in our PJs opening our stocking.  Zach stuffs mine full of the most random stuff and it is so much fun seeing what comes next, this year he tucked a very special gift down in the toe!  Then I put out a a full breakfast and finger foods or as I call it “grazing food” and everyone came over to hang out.  Zach and I prepared a roast dinner with the entire family which is pretty much the only day of the year I set the entire dining table- this year we had 13.  I laughed just thinking of Christmas dinner 3 years ago- we hosted 19 and I had the table and house totally done up complete with custom hand-painted ornaments at each place setting--- wow, I can’t even remember having that much free time before kids and I laugh knowing I will not be hosting anything of that caliber again until probably when the kids come home from college and maybe not even then.
Batman came to the party! c/o Aunt Becky
Everyone loved the jam session!
Christmas night was perfectly relaxing as we sat around listening to Zach and Kellen play the guitars, Becky snapped pictures, and Austin danced in the kitchen with the family and at the end of every song signed “more, more”.  Abby, Hayden, and Julia Claire were busy reading books on their Kindles and playing with the puppies. Sue and Mom were superheros like always and washed all the dishes as I drank my weight in Mom’s Apple Cider and Dad enjoyed my famous Chocolate Pecan Pie. I felt so fortunate to have everyone in the family healthy and happy even if we couldn't all be together. I wish I had gotten more pictures of the day but we were too busy enjoying every moment, inside since we had a downpour the entire day.

One of my favorites!  c/o Aunt Becky
Hayden and Abby snuck off to the study for some piece and quiet!  c/o Aunt Becky

Hayden, Abby, and Julia Claire just chillin
One of his favorites- a board of lock and latches
Action shot: Dancing with G-Pa

Austin Lately

(old post I forgot to publish)

In the famous words of our family friend Lisa Horack...."WHAT FUN!"

Austin is just that, a fun and funny little man!  Some things he has been doing in November at 16 months old:

  • Sleeps from 7:30pm-7:30am
  • Takes 4 sippy cups a day of Vitamin D milk (doesn't always drink entire cup- usually 6oz)
  • Loves bananas, chicken salad, grapes, bread, Life cereal, pancakes, peaches, apple juice.  Not into veggies right now as much as I try.
  • Bursts of energy and conversation!  Walks around the house giggling and talking really loud and screeching with excitement.
  • Sydney takes her food into another room to chew it and he follows her from her bowl to the dining room- repeat about 500x.
  • His new "job" is to feed the dogs.  He stand patiently (as he screaches with joy and claps his hands and stomps his feet) at the drawer where we keep the dog food.  We scoop it and he delivers it to each bowl.  Then he "helps" carry the gallon jug to each water bowl.
  • His favorite song right now is "Itsy Bitsy Spider" he sticks his 2 index finders out trying to make his spider, sticks his hands straight up and then lowers them down for "down came the rain...", sticks his hands stright up and wiggles his fingers for "out came the sun", and repeats his spider at the end.  Then claps like crazy at the end and wants to do it again.
  • Says "bayybee" all the time and will lift up my shirt to point to my tummy.  Last night I said "Can you kiss the baby" and he leaned over, pulled up my shirt and kissed my belly.
  • LOVES when daddy plays the guitar.  He dances and claps before Zach even begins.  Then he stands there mesmorized as Zach plays and sings.
  • Still loves trucks and hot air balloons.
  • Says "Ooh-rah" the Marine's battle cry in honor of Uncle Cory
  • Is starting to put together different syllables for multi-syllable words.  It's not just Pa-Pa or Da-Da now he says "Sissna" (Sydney), "Ooh-rah", "Baybee" (Baby), "Grammy" (only said 2x but Grammy is really excited!),
  • He repeats every name after you say it in our family book.  Or at least tries to sound it out, his favorite is Aunt B...he says Bbbbbbbbb.
  • Loves to get on his stool and look out the living room window for Brulee, our neighbor's dog.  Will stand then for long periods of time looking for him.  Says "boooooo" or "Boooo-ayyy" for Brulee.
  • Still loves his darn paci, even more now that he's getting a lot of teeth.  We will be breaking him of the paci once the molars are in.
  • Loves to read books.  Sometimes he brings them to you and crawls in your lap to read and other times he crawls in his chair and "reads" them to himself.
  • He is a dare devil and not afraid of much.  The vacuum and car alarms or load car noises in close range are the only things that really bother him.
  • Favorite toys- golf clubs, Frosty the Snowman singing/dancing doll, blocks, cars, Powerwheel