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

Friday, November 22

And then there is sweet Maddy Bug.....

And then there is sweet Maddy Bug.....

MY buddy. My sweet baby girl.

She is going through a mommy phase. She needs me to hold her or at least be within site pretty much constantly.She does well with my mom because she keeps her everyday and I keep telling Zach the only reason she prefers us is because we are her food source. He keeps telling me he's ready for her to get through this stage and be his buddy.  I wish I could let him handle feeding her while we are home at night but I am dedicated to nursing her every feeding we are together to keep her from only wanting a bottle,  since by this time Austin had turned his nose up to nursing.....and I cried...and pumped.

She is a very different baby than Austin.  He was just the easiest baby ever so I am learning a lot about teething irritability and the clingy stage like a first time mom.  Madeline is by no means bad, in fact she she loves routine just like Austin did.....but she is particular and impatient. Typical GIRL.  By this time in Austin's life, Zach kept him alone multiple times for 3-4 days at a time while I was traveling for work, weddings, and bachelorette parties.  I can't even go out to dinner with the girls without getting a text that she is crying uncontrollably. Layer on teething and this mommy has pretty much had to put socializing on the back burner unless she is at Mom's or shes already in bed.  But other than being particular, she is sweet as pie and gives Zach and my dad the sweetest crooked grins.  Her sweet little voice just melts you and she is working on her repetitive consonants.

Things Madeline loves:

  • She laughs hysterically at any type of ball or round object (apples do the trick)
  • As you tell in these pictures she is always chewing on something and teething like crazy yet no visable teeth.  Austin had 2 teeth by the time he was 6mos so I know hers are are just sitting there giving her grief under the gums.
  • She nuzzles into you when you hold her like she can't get close enough
  • Her tiny little fingers will pinch the daylights out of any skin you have exposed, and the razor blade nails draw blood.
  • She loves throwing her head back and laying upside down
  • She jabbers like crazy in the car and then SILENCE, she's asleep
  • Crying it out does not work on her like it did her brother, she will cry for an hour (my trick at night is to nurse her for 2 minutes and she is out)
  • She loves being outside and loves the stroller.  
  • She is a people watcher- especially Austin.  Loves watching him do everything.  She shopped for 8 hours with me and Zach Saturday just content in the stroller people watching.  We were in Baton Rouge so you can imagine all of the interesting mall-goers she saw.
  • She is content laying on a pallet next to Austin for hours, she just sucks on her toes and plays with toys.
  • She hates tummy time and wants nothing to do with it or crawling.
  • She loves grabbing your hands and standing up and she will stand with locked legs forever. 
  • She has the cutest crooked grin
  • She blows raspberries like it's her job and for long periods of time.  It's loud and it sound like someone is in the back seat passing gas
  • She can't stand being in a wet/dirty diaper, I think she starts hollering for a diaper change while she is going just to ensure a quick change.
  • She sleeps in a swaddle pod in her crib from 7:30pm-5:30/6am, nurses for a short bit and goes to sleep until 7:15ish.
  • She is obcessed with the dogs {Austin was not too interested at that age} but she especially loves Sydney and just laughs when Syd walks by.
  • She is one flexible chick, feet in mouth all the time and sometimes kicks herself in the head and fusses. 
Our family feels complete since Baby Sister got here.  Austin adores her, we adore them, and I feel like we adore each other even more. 

About to nuzzle

Loves playing in the highchair with toys

Our shopping buddy

Happy girl

Meeting one of my best friends Jamie for the first time

Exploring G-Pa's beard

Me and Maddy @7 months. No denying she is mine.

These kids...

Oh these kids crack me up.  I am already feeling mentally {and of course physically} challenged by their little minds and active bodies.

Let's start with Austin....he is now 28 months and this age has proven to be busting with comedy. Austin is hilarious and like his teacher said "Austin gets to laughing and everyone starts laughing".  His giggle is infectious.  Don't get me wrong, he as a definite terrible twos streak in him but he is such a loving little guy that it makes up for those challenging times.

He is big about giving hugs, kisses, telling you "buy guys" or "I wuv you" every time you leave.  In fact he gets very uneasy if he didn't get the change to give you love and says "I wanna tell [him]". Pretty much every 10 minutes you can expect 2 tiny arms wrapped around your thighs hugging you and as odd as it sounds he will walk up and kiss you on the butt if you're busy.

He speaks in full sentences about everything and he puts it all together surprisingly well.

He talks about Gwammy, Papa, G Pa, and Yeah Yeah everyday.  He loves his grandparents so much!  He also knows who Nana Randa is and we look at her picture in our bedtime book all the time.

He is starting to grasp time....tomorrow {he says "in the morrow"}, later, in the morning, this weekend, tonight....totally make sense to him and he will followup on the topic at that time. Promise.

He loves keeping his hands clean and anytime he gets dirty or spills something he says "I make a mess".  I really hate hearing the phrase when he in unattended at the table or while we are driving down the road.  Almost always, it doesn't have a good ending.  However if the mess is just toys, he learned the clean up song at school and sings as he picks up his toys.

He loves pancakes.  Every morning we ask him what he is going to do at school and who he wants to see and he always replies "I wanna eat Pancakes at school with Dillon" {that's his best buddy at school}

He holds up his chubby little index finger and say "Just one moow{one more} Mommy" if he wants to watch a TV show, movie, eat a dessert, etc.  Basically anything that he knows we limit, he comes to us in the softest, cutest little voice asking for JUST one more.

If you stretch, he stretches...louder and bigger.

He talks about everything he sees and often gets tongue tied because his mouth is still rambling but his brain has gone to something else.  If I had a dollar for every time I say "stop and collect your thoughts".

He sleeps with 6 stuffed animals every night and cannot go to sleep until we have taken roll and everyone is in the correct position.  Bear, Mickey, Bonny, Clyde, Puppy, Lamb...and his blankey. Mickey is always closest to him and Bonny and Clyde go under his arms.

Loves wearing hats and "hunglasses" {sunglasses}

He is destined to be an ambulance chaser.  he loves ambulances, doctors, talking about going to the doctor, talking about Uncle Kel the Doctor, etc.
Facetiming with Uncle Kel at work to tell him he finished his dinner (random!)
He runs or hops pretty much everywhere and always has one arm bent in a 90 degree angle like he's really running hard.

He loves taking baths with Baby Sister.  "Maddy get in the bath tooooooo".  He loves to help wash her hair and rinse her off.
It's all fun and Mohawks until somebody poops in the tub.
And no worries, nobody is bleading..these are bath paints. 

Loves "Hootball" and talks every weekend about going to the football game at the high school.  He had a blast when we went.

He thinks it is hilarious to say "Hey Shannon" to get my attention.  I had to hold Madeline in front of my face one time so he wouldn't see me busting out laughing.  It's rare so it's funny, but we will have issues if that becomes the norm.

He asks for bands by name on Zach's phone and knows the words to Black Crows, Lumineers, Band of Horses, and Mumford and Sons songs. Musical Genius.

Sometimes Austin will be half listening and say "HUH?" to us, we highly dislike that so we tell him, "Please say what if you have a question or didn't hear us, not huh".  Well the other morning we were up bright and early and Austin and I went downstairs to let the dogs out.  My eyes were half open when he started his usual onslaught of questions.  In my fatigue I said "huh" not even realizing that lazy word came from my mouth before I hear him saying "Mommy don't say huh, say what"

He is a sucker for reverse psychology.  We can get him to do, eat, or wear anything by simply saying "okay Madeline or the dogs will have it".  He immediately cooperates.  Elf on the Shelf may live at our house all year round because I know he will be a hit.

He loves reading to, snuggling up to, and showing Madeline things.  If you says, "show Maddy how we......" he jumps at the task.  He loves being the big brother!

Blurry pic but here is Austin showing Maddy a toy.

Austin is his daddy's buddy through and through. He "wants to see daddy" all the time if we aren't in the same room and he loves asking where Daddy is when he's not home.  "Oh is Daddy wooking out {working out}, is he at wook {work}, is he mowing the yard, etc.  Austin loves reading, asking a million questions, challenging you, and music all just like Daddy.

Madeline Monthly









Tuesday, November 5

I made it to DAY 10!

As you may remember, I had surgery on my right ear in November 2011 after having some hearing loss associated with my pregnancy with Austin...see those details here... and unfortunately it happened all over again to the other ear after having Madeline.  But like I told my doctor, I don't have a 3rd ear and I will likely not have a 3rd child so I hope that was the last time I have to go under the knife.  However if you live in Mississippi and need an ear specialist, I HIGHLY recommend Dr. House at St. Dominics.  He is very thorough, has great bedside manner, and best of all he's an Ole Miss Rebel.
Post surgery at home in bed.  Longest nap I have taken in years! It was fabulous!

So once again I was on a strict lifting restriction for 10 days post surgery...TEN DAYS people!  Please take note today of every time you go to lift something over 10lbs: Bags, purses, children, boxes to mail, strollers, etc.  It is so much harder than it sounds!  Layer on the fact that I HATE asking for help and feeling helpless (exactly why I didn't enjoy the restrictions of pregnancy) so the 10 days were a huge challenge for me but I can say I only cautiously cheated a handful of times and only if absolutely necessary. HUGE shout out to my amazing husband that has woken up early just to hand me the baby to nurse, changed countless diapers, loaded/unloaded my car everyday, deep cleaned our home, grocery shopped {actually he always does this!! Yeah I know...WOW}, and basically pulled the weight of 2 parents while I couldn't pull my share.  Also my sweet mother gives and gives and gives of herself yet she never tires or complains....and even constantly tells me there is nowhere she would rather be. Yup, she's a keeper!! She stayed with us for a few night post surgery to help with the kids, wrangled 2 kids at the pediatrician while I had to sit and observe, and helped anywhere we needed it.

Saturday morning, we gave Zach some much needed extra sleep since he has been getting up with the kids for me.  So Mom and I strolled (slowly) through downtown...stopped by the pumpkin patch for pics of the kids (semi-successful), had lunch at the coffee shop, and then shopped the Main St. stores.  Afternoons like this make me so thankful to live in a small town and live here with my parents. Life is so simple and so easy to enjoy the small things.

Madeline did awesome!  Love this age where you can position and pose them anyway you want...the 2 year old is a totally different story...

Here we are bribing Austin to sit next to Madeline with his babies.  I can pretty much bet money on how our visit with Santa will go this year.

He finally agreed, however he wanted to sit on the ground. He makes the rules these days.  Oh yeah and we may have promised him a cupcake in return :)

Here are some pics over the 10 days of the kids.....  Austin has become really loving and hands on with Madeline recently.  It is really cute.  When she cries he says "Oh Mommy I hear baby Sister, I'll go get her", "Lemme hold Maddy", ""I wanna help with Baby Sister".  It only took 6 months, but it looks like he is gonna let us keep her!

Lots of snuggles on the couch with the pups.  We found another tumor on Sydney...this time golf ball size on her heel.  So sad because we know the cancer is causing this and it's just a physical reminder that our sweet girl is sick even though she is full of life and SO MUCH LOVE!
Austin loved the slumber parties with Grammy.  Here the kids are watching "Muffins" {Muppets take Manhattan} in the playroom.

My first day off probation I scooped up Maddy, all by myself, and took her to a holiday sale at one of my favorite gift shops.  This is the treat she got for being such a happy girl while mommy shopped for an hour and 1/2.  Another reason I love a small town, seeing tons of people you know begging to hold her which really helped me out.