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

Monday, February 25

Austin's Antics

Here are some cute videos I have on my phone from this week.

This little dude is so much fun!  I can only imagine how entertaining it will be having two little ones!  One thing I have yet to capture on video is Austin "jumping".  it might be the funniest thing you have ever seen and I swear Zach and I have never laughed so hard, I thought I was going to laugh the baby right out.  I will try and video that soon.

Little man loves bathtime.  All I have to say is bubble bath and he will stop what he is doing and run to the stairs!

Mom has one of my baby dolls at her house and he loves to rock her and play with her.  Here he is practicing for his baby sister!

As dad says, "Austin has the music inside him" and is always dancing to something.  He pumps his arms to the beat, especially to Ice Age and Mickey Mouse.  It's so funny!

Austin loves nothing more than the "a-tar" and when daddy puts him on his lap and lets him play the "a-tar" with him.  Here is Austin strumming while Zach plays the chords.

Austin is a Grammy's boy!  He loves her so much and is so affectionate to her. Which is funny because Grammy is the only name we won't say.  Hasn't quite mastered the G's but most the time he calls her "o-ma-ma" or "amma".

Friday, February 22

Welcome Home Cory!!!

My brother returned home from Afghanistan on Wednesday night and I can't explain the feeling I had watching the video of him get off the plane.  It was one of the top happiest moments of my life but not in the "marriage happy" category or the "promotion happy" was more in the "child birth happy category".  In one moment, all of my worry and anxiety was permanently lifted and replaced with the most wonderful feeling of joy!  All I could do was cry, just like the feeling of relief when Austin came into the world safe and sound.

I hate the war, I hate the sacrifices and casualties, and I hate that I am celebrating his return as the family of his replacement is beginning to feel the helplessness and fear that we felt for the past year.

I am in the middle of a series called Downton Abbey that takes place in England during the Great War of the early 1900s. Every episode I am devastated by the casualties and the horrific sacrifices the military and their families are making.  This last episode was the end of the war.  When I finished watching it, all I could think was- dang I wish that was the case.  I wish we could celebrate the end of this awful war and the return of all of our troops. It will be a wonderful day, whenever it comes.

But for now I plan to focus on the positives and the blessings we have to be so thankful for.  Next week we are headed up to DC to see Cory and Alicia! This will be the first time to see them in over a year so I am not sure I can contain my excitement!

Wednesday, February 20

Happy Wednesday

What a fabulous day!  I got to start my day with this sweet little man and when we go to bed tonight another wonderful man will be safe in the arms of his family.  If you know me, than you know exactly who I am talking about but I can't really talk about the specifics but I will soon.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday!

On a side note, last night I thought I was in labor.....yeah I know 31 1/2 weeks is way too early to be saying that.  I was having intense Braxton Hicks, stomach cramping that had me doubled over, and terrible back cramps. It made the pre-labor pains that I managed to forget all come rushing back into my mind.  Thank God for an awesome hubby that made dinner, played with/read to/bathed Austin, and allowed me to take a long hot shower to ease the pain.  I crawled into bed at 7:30 and even though I still felt very uncomfortable, the heating pad, Tylenol PM, and 3 episodes of Downton Abbey made the night tolerable.  I went to bed in pain but woke up feeling much better.  I told Zach that if I have many more nights like that it will be a long 8 weeks.

Monday, February 18

Baby girl is 31 weeks

Baby Girl @ 31 weeks
Baby Austin @ 30 weeks
Wow- I swore I was carrying Baby Girl much lower than I did Austin but now looking at these pictures it looks just the opposite. I was reading my 30 wk post with Austin and it's crazy how similar it is to this pregnancy.  Also please notice that my advanced iphone/mirror photography skills are still sharp as a tack after 2 day...soon....I will get out our real camera and learn how to use it...soon...I promise!

Baby Girl is growing fast, weighing in around 4lbs and 19” long this week.  I have gained 20lbs (same as Austin at this week of the pregnancy) This weekend was the first time I started feeling Braxton Hicks contractions and according to my 30wk post during Austin's pregnancy that is when I started having them.  We were working around the house on Sunday and I would feel a strong tightening sensation of my stomach.  Austin was in a snuggly mood so that gave me the opportunity to relax in the recliner for a while and watch TV but he doesn't quite understand why he can no longer relax in his favorite position- laying right on top of my stomach.

My nurse practitioner Kappi would be happy to hear me say that as of yesterday my days of high heels/heeled boots are gone.  I wear them a lot since all of my maternity work pants are long and I needed the extra few inches but I can no longer justify that reasoning.  I am scared I will be off balance when carrying Austin up and down the porch steps and it causes my legs and back to ache.  

I feel really good but also really pregnant.  I guess I should start replying “as good as can be expected” when people ask....just wish I had more energy/endurance for physical activity like walking up our stairs (yeah I know that is sad!)  Zach and I are eating really healthy again like the pre-pregnancy days for many reasons but one selfish reason is to help get the baby weight off afterward and that was out of the question the way I had been eating this pregnancy- basically I ate anything that I could tolerate or that sounded good which was often times unhealthy.   Also, I walk behind the empty stroller to daycare on pretty afternoons and pickup Austin and then we will walk for 30-45 minutes.  So although I took a good 20 weeks off this pregnancy from my intense workout routine I am trying to get back into some low-key activity because you better believe when I get the green light to exercise after birth, baby girl and I will be tearing up the pavement during my spring maternity leave! My sister-in-law has inspired me big time.  She looks like a rock star after, get this….4 kiddos! I want to see muscles again and feel strong and energetic!  Zach, I know you are reading this….keep me honest and hold me accountable since it will be harder than ever with 2 kids.

I go in for my next appointment Feb.27. Two weeks from then I will have my last sonogram before the birth and I am so excited about it. I remember seeing Austin in 4D at the final sonogram and we could see his adorable cheeks and perfect little lips.  When I saw him for the first time, those were the first 2 features that caught my eye….next was the bleach blonde hair.  I can’t wait to see what our little girl looks like!

Well this pregnancy is flying by and although the nursery is complete enough that she could come tomorrow, it is still very far from feeling complete in my mind.  Zach has rolled his eyes countless times when he finds me standing in the middle of the room trying to figure it all out, it just doesn't feel right yet….all you moms that have ever suffered pregnancy hormones knows exactly what I am talking about.

Thursday, February 14

Valentine's addendum....

I'm back to add to the previous Valentine's post because lunch was just too special to go un-blogged.  Per the post below, I was invited via text to a lunch date at the Castle.  We walk in to find a table waiting on us and gorgeous flowers as the centerpiece.  Absent-minded-preggo-brain over here totally thought Dunleith decorated every table this nicely for Valentine's Day until my patent husband said, like the flowers?

Ah I loved them and they were ALL MINE!  There was the sweetest little note tucked in....  (yeah I totally teared up) 

He asked me to read the greeting card on the table but I told him after the flowers/note he had to give me a minute....I would get emotional if I read it all at once.  We had a fabulous lunch and he asked the waitress if she would bring us dessert.  As anyone close to me knows, I crave anything gummy when pregnant.  The waitress walks out smiling with this plate, dressed up with a doilie and gummy cherries.  I could see the other waitresses watching and giggling because I can promise you that is the first and only time they have seen gummy snacks served at this fine-dining venue!

Zach made the day so special and I told him what really made me so happy is the thought he puts into everything he does for us.  His momma raised him right because that is exactly how she was.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am sure I didn’t always say this but I love Valentine’s Day!!  I love that it is based on nothing but love and its pretty low key.   Around our house- no extravagant gifts are exchanged which means zero stress and all joy J  

When you have kids, you enter the club where romantic holidays now include a plus 1 (or a plus 2,3,4…) and I think there is no sweeter way to spend it!   This is the 2nd year in a row we will be doing dinner with my parents, so that means +3 ½ for me and Zach!   Mom said steaks and ice cream cake are on the menu….say no more, just tell me when and where!

Here are Austin’s Valentine pics I tried to snap before breakfast.  As you can tell he is totally hamming it up since he thought we were going to FaceTime with Grammy and Papa.  I have to confess, sometimes when I want him to smile for the camera, I name drop.  Yeah I know it’s awful but “smile for Grammy” saves a lot of time!
Then he asked to “dwaw in chaaa” (draw in his chair)… I would like to think he’s writing me a love note….in french!  Most likely it’s for Mooee (Molly Mc. -his favorite girl at daycare) since right after he drew this he walked to the front door and said “scoo, baac paac, Mooee” which is Austin for “school, backpack, Molly”.

Zach made me the most incredible Valentine breakfast omelet this morning! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I know some of you might not be with your sweetie today due to distance but I hope everyday feels as special as Feb.14. 

Sweet cousin Jules--- I am sorry I meant Ariel-- sent Austin a Valentine pic all dolled up!

  I know around my house, a certain someone makes me feel like his Valentine every day.  I feel very blessed to have found my permanent Valentine, Zach!  Oh and I just got this text from him- so it looks like we will be having lunch +0!  How exciting! Then it’s off to the dr. to check on our Baby Girl!

Monday, February 4

Mopping my Floor

Here is one of Daddy and Austin's 3 million crazy games they play--Austin mops my floor. Austin gets such a kick out of this and flips over before he even comes to a stop and runs up the hall, lays on the floor and kicks his feel in the air for more.

**And don't worry, I only let Austin and Daddy play this game after the floor been freshly cleaned

Austin & Mommy Weekend

Zach went to Austin this weekend to finalize the PushLocal franchise contracts (more on that exciting news later) and Austin and I got to spend the weekend together!  He is so sweet and loving when it's just us and I am trying to savor these last few months with my only child. But I am not gonna lie, without the help of Mom and Dad I wouldn't have made it through the weekend, entertaining your baby while making a baby is hard work.
Saying hi to Daddy

We had a great weekend and the most exciting part was transitioning Austin to his big boy bed.  I was waiting for this weekend when Z was out of town in case this process went downhill then only one of us would be sleep deprived.

Putting the bed together- so exciting when you're 3' tall!

Recently Austin thinks it is really cute to snuggle up under the covers in our bed and lay on the pillow.  He makes a big deal that daddy and I are right next to him.  If I am doing something in the room he will say "momma....sit" and point to the bed.  Then he loves to just snuggle while watching TV and will sometimes reach out his arms and put them on Zach's chest and say "dadda" just making sure he is still right there next to him.  Then after a little bit he will say "Nite-Nite"  and he is ready to go to his room.  Well Friday instead of reading books in the rocker, we got in his new bed to read and then I told him it was time to go to sleep.  He grabbed Duckie and laid his head on his pillow (first night to have a pillow) and asked for his covers (first night to have covers).  To my surprise, he actually went to sleep......and stayed there!  WOW!! I was completely prepared for a screaming child beating at the door but instead God blessed me with the most easy going child ever.  Just like giving up the paci, he said so long to the crib like a champ!

You want to know what I did the entire first night- stared at this screen- seriously every hour I would wake up just to look over at the monitor to make sure I saw his little feet.  I felt like a new mom bringing a baby home from the hospital and checking to make sure it's still breathing.

Then, like clockwork, at his usual time the next morning I heard him start to stir.  He got his Noah book and read it for a few minutes and then went to the door and cried out.  The next night he did great too, this time when he woke up he stayed in bed and just hollered "Momma", and same with this morning.
This is him on morning 3- sitting up saying "momma"

So we are officially crib-broken and the crib is in the new nursery so there is no turning back now.

Back to our adventures this weekend while we had some gorgeous weather-

Look at my awesome mom crawling through the playground with Austin since obviously that is out of the question for me.  She is such a fun Grammy!
We went to the park with Grammy and had a big time....until the ants attacked him, twice.  We had to rip off his pants and shoes the first time and the second time the poor guy was down to just a diaper.  I think the way mom and I reacted immediately when we saw the ants all over him scared him much more than the ant bites.  He cried until we hugged him.  It's true what they say- a child looks to your reaction when they get hurt to see how upset they should be.

Here is the naked patient in the car after being rubbed with Benadryl cream and getting a treat for putting up with his loony mommy and Grammy- Fig Newtons, his favorite "too-tee".

 We also walked Grammy and Papa's dogs this weekend-- let me clarify- Austin walked each of them all by himself.  He insists you do not help him hold the leash, because after-all he sleeps in a bed...he is a big independent boy.

Mom and dad came over to help put the crib in the nursery and they cooked us a great dinner out at their house.

Sunday we had a great Sunday School lesson, I feel so blessed that my parents live here because I get to attend Dad's class and he is an awesome teacher.  Everyone seems to love his "never-boring/make you think/packed with humor" teaching style.

Austin and I went to a Super Bowl party at our friends house and Austin had the time of his life running around with all the kids.  He didn't want to leave but after bribing him with a cookie and getting to see daddy arrive home he was excited to go.  I don't think I can put into words Austin's sheer excitement when he saw Daddy walk up the stairs.  It's those moments when you feel so blessed with your little life and those in it.