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

Wednesday, May 22

Madeline Weekly


Mother's Day 2013

It was a perfect Sunday, not a cloud in the sky and I was blessed to spend it this year with our new little addition. It made this Mother's Day so special.  Zach made me my favorite breakfast, southwestern omelets, and had the sweetest little note written next to my plate.  Then we went to church which was our first time to church with Madeline and she did pretty well.  Zach had to walk in the foyer with her at the end of the service because I think she was making a diaper and she was straining pretty loudly.

Here is one of our only family pictures so far since the first 2 weeks of Madeline's life we spent making sure the kids didn't interact since they both were contagious.  

My precious babies!
I wanted to get a picture with my kiddos on Mother's day and this is what we ended up with.  Austin loves climbing up and down our steps and he will sit down and then say "mommy sit" or anyone else that might be in the vicinity and then point and tell you where to sit.  He is quite the little boss and is very independent.  So this is how he had us positioned for the picture :)

Me and my baby girl.  

Here is a video-card I made Mom from all the kids and grandkids.  We love her so much and she has been the calm and loving woman that keeps all of us in check.

Annual Beach Trip

Zach's family has a timeshare in Gulf Shores and has been going there every year since he was young.  We have been the last few years as newlyweds and now as a family and it is such a wonderful tradition that we plan to continue for many years to come.  Kate told me she can remember her dad and her playing in the sand when she was little and spending the week at the condo with her mom.  We want our kids to make memories playing on the same stretch of beach and hanging out in the same condo cooking hotdogs!

This year they chose to meet at the condo the first week in May.  When Zach initially asked me if I wanted to go this year I told him there would be no way we could swing it because that would be just a few weeks after the baby was due and I knew we would be in no shape to travel.

Well fast forward to May, Madeline came a week early and we were all dying to get out of the house and out of town after the kids had both been sick and spent way too much time indoors the past few weeks.  I was aching for a change of scenery and even though I knew we were taking a gamble with a 2 year old and a newborn on a road trip, I was willing to chance it.  Around 4pm, we made the decision to go and by 6pm we had the bags packed, car loaded, and kids buckled in and ready for an adventure.  Our complete spontaneity and lack of planning actually turned into a genius strategy-  drive during the kids bedtime.  It was awesome, Austin ate dinner when we got on the road and about an hour later snuggled up with Bonnie and Clyde (his night time stuffed animals) and he was out the remainder of the drive.  

This year Sue couldn't make it so it was Steve, Victor & Kate, and our crew.  The trip was a COMPLETE success.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, Austin was in heaven with so much to do and so many people loving on him, and Madeline as just Madeline- the chillest baby that ever lived.  The only time you heard a peep from here is when it was time to eat and other than that she just enjoyed the breeze and the sounds of the ocean. Steve was so nice and treated all of us to dinner every night and Austin did surprisingly well at the restaurants- it's always a crap shoot with a 2 year old.

I think this trip to the beach saved my sanity.  I was getting cabin fever the past week and I was even feeling gloomy some days and was just blaming it on the gloomy weather and the fact that both of my kids were sick, Zach was slammed at work, and my usual backup (my mom) was sick too.  What I imagined as a restful maternity leave had taken an unexpected turn and I was a sinking ship. But the beach trip gave me time to relax, a lot of help with the kids, and much needed time to reflect on how blessed we are.  Sometimes the stress during an adjustment period doesn't allow much time to smell th roses.

Zach teaching Austin how to swim and jump off the side.  Austin loved the water so much and did so well!

 Our sunbathing beauty

 Madeline "sat" in the chair next to me, it was the perfect weather- not too hot and not too cool!

Somehow this is the only picture I got of the 2 of them together, not great but that is life!  I and sure do live life!

Kinda comical...

I say this situation was kinda comical because the only thing I could do to keep from crying was to laugh.  The 2nd and 3rd weeks of Madeline's life was nowhere near as easy as the first.  A week after we got home from the hospital she started to produce a lot of mucus in her eyes and it ended up being a bacterial infection that was contagious like pink eye....and I was the first to catch it from her because the whole time I thought she had clogged tear ducts and I was massaging them daily.  Mine wasn't bad at all and after 2 days with eye drops my eyes cleared up but her poor eyes took 11 days to clear up and 2 different prescription creams... it was the saddest thing.  She went a few days where she wouldn't open her eyes because they were pretty much glued together.  Then around day 4 of her eye infection we noticed a rash on Austin's feet.  We thought he might be having a reaction from playing in the grass but for some reason I called the doctor right away to make an appointment.  With a newborn in the house I didn't want to take any chances.  Sure enough it was Hand Mouth Foot which is a very contagious virus between children and they said it would be very bad if Madeline got it because if she developed ulcers in her mouth like Austin did, she might stop nursing and this is a crucial weight gaining period for a newborn.  The same week Zach fractured his wrist and hurt his ankle.  Oh, I am not done.  Mom, who usually bales me out of situations like this, came down with bronchitis and couldn't be around the kids at all. We spent a little over a week running around making sure nothing Austin touched or slobbered on came in contact with Madeline and nothing that touched Madeline's eyes came in contact with anyone.  I have never washed my hands so often in my life and I literally washed the skin raw on my hands.  Combined with my hormonal roller coaster, I was on edge.  But the only way to go from there was UP...and that we did!

I wish I could get a do-over for the time we lost being sick and cooped up in the house but hey that is life with kids. I am just glad it happened while I was in maternity leave so I was able to stay home with them.

First few days with our sweet Madeline

Okay Laura D, you asked for more pics of Madeline so here are more than you ever cared to see. I just have to document all the sweet moments in the hospital.  She is a sweet baby and we feel very fortunate to have been blessed with 2 really chill babies.  Madeline took to nursing like she was a seasoned pro, it kinda shocked me the first time I fed her because I had to work with Austin to latch.  Maybe it was in part that I was much more relaxed since I was a seasoned pro.  Once again we had amazing care at Community and it was so special to have the same team of nurses deliver Madeline that delivered Austin- Missy, Angel, Debbie....I just adore those ladies.

Here is daddy at @7:45am after cutting the cord and holding his baby girl for the first time.

 First bath...not a fan

 Finally holding my girl after her bath, that is such a long wait. I think I probably sat there forever just starring at her.  She was just perfect and to me she didn't look like anyone particular, she just looked like Madeline. Her new name fit her perfectly.

Zach introduces Madeline to her big brother!  He was in love right away!

This is one of my favorite pictures.  We were all admiring our new bundle of joy.  I wish I could put into words the feelings I had at that felt like our little family was now complete and we were embarking on the greatest adventure as a family.  This was MY perfect moment.

This will probably be my favorite picture with my kids forever.  I had no idea my mom had a camera when she snapped this, it was the most amazing moment when Austin just reached over and hugged Madeline totally unprompted and he just stayed there like he was soaking it all in.  Not sure if you can tell but my heart is melting all over my shirt.

Baby yawns are the best

Austin loving all the attention from Yeah Yeah

 Loving on his baby before we left the hospital, he is mush!

 Not nearly as much hair as Austin had but it's so soft and pretty. It's dark blond in the back and light blond around her face. Poor girl might have gotten her mom's thin fine hair.

We had sweet friends and family visit us in the hospital.  Steve, Mom, Dad and Austin were there when Madeline was born or shortly afterward. John Kramer, our minister, came by about an hour after she was born so he got to hold a brand new baby.  Also Kate and Victor, Karie Sue (our associate pastor), our good friend Laura McLemore,  and Eileen (the attorney next to Zach). Darleen took great care of me in the hospital and brought me whatever food I wanted whenever I needed it, I felt so special.  She is our house keeper and works at the hospital from 5am-noon and then cleans houses in the afternoons, she is one hard working woman!!