Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jax eating!

Jax is really coming around in his eating! It's been so frustrating trying to feed this meal after meal and have him just purse his lips, turn away, and spit everything out - for months! Anyway, he's about to turn 9 months and I've been planning to talk about all this at his 9 month appointment with his doctor, but then he suddenly wolfed down two jars of food the other night! And not only that, but he seemed just ecstatic about it in between each bite! I was so excited I had James get a little bit of it on video. You can hear Madeline in the background too. This was a big moment for us!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Matt - The Undateable

Ha! This is so perfect. So my brother Matt is going to be in a new book coming out called "The Undateable." The book is coming out in February 2010 and is apparently going to be a humorous book about the things men do, wear, and say when it comes to dating/attracting women. My other brother, Mike, took this picture of Matt and had it posted on his Flickr site. The authors apparently saw the picture and wanted it for their upcoming book so they contacted Mike and asked for permission to use it. Mike, of course, said yes. A million times, yes. I'm sure all my brothers could have donated many other pictures to the cause. Congrats, Matt! What an honor.

Tough Love Week

So I've decided that it is tough love week for the kids this week. I am determined to get Jax eating and sleeping better and get Madeline feeding herself. I've decided that I care more about Madeline feeding herself than even potty training right now, so that is becoming priority #1. Here is how it is all going so far:

Jax: Last night I gave in and fed him one time that he woke up, but for the other two times I just let him cry. (Oh, I hate doing this!) And he did it - went back to sleep after not too long. And today, instead of nursing him right before his nap (I never got in this habit with Madeline, but I've fallen into it with Jax), I just went and put him up in his crib and shut the door. Oh, you should have heard the screams. I may have ruined his life a little bit. But, it only lasted about 10 minutes and he went to sleep! Wahoo! I am going to try and keep this up. Still not much interest in the applesauce I tried to feed him, but he did munch on a few puffs. We'll work on it more tomorrow!

Madeline: I strapped her in her high chair tonight and told her that from now on Mommy is not going to put food in her mouth, that Madeline has to eat food all by herself, even if it means staying there all night. So I made this white chicken chili dish (which she likes, is easy to scoop, and stays on the spoon easily - don't want to give her any excuses) and told her to eat her food. She dawdled like crazy like she usually does, played with her cup, painted food on the table (I'll work on stopping that later), sang songs, did ABCs, kept saying she wanted other things, asked for movies, kept saying she needed to go potty - all to avoid eating. She kept saying, "Mommy, help me. I can't do it." But I kept reminding her she had to do it herself. Meanwhile I cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, got Jax ready for bed, etc. and left it up to her. So guess how long her dinner took: 2 hours and 50 minutes! Can you believe a toddler can dawdle that long!!! She is such a determined little thing. (Can you see why we usually just lose our patience and start shoveling in the food for her?) When she finally finished her meal, I made a big deal of it, told her how proud I was of her, and let her have some ice cream for a treat (which she, of course, ate amazingly well all by herself). Maybe tomorrow dinner will be slightly shorter, who knows! But at least we made a step in the right direction tonight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jax at 8 Months

In keeping with my new blogging approach mentioned before, here is my list of everything I would like to remember about Jax at this age:
  • His huge Jack-o-lantern smile of nearly 8 teeth - which is a lot for his age
  • He's pretty small, hovering around the 20th percentile (Madeline was the same at this age)
  • He is a extremely even-tempered, content, easy-to-please (an unbelievable change for us)
  • He adores Madeline and lights up whenever she plays with him - even when she's doing rough or annoying things to him, he just beams
  • His infectious belly laugh when you tickle him or hover over his face and play with him
  • His lip smacking and teeth grinding - horrible!
  • Wherever you put him down, he'll be at the other end of the house in about two seconds.
  • How quickly he has learned to crawl and get around - I predict he'll be walking at nine months sometime
  • Out of nowhere, he'll belt out a crazy loud scream that makes every hold their ears
  • He and Madeline have yelling wars back and forth with each other
  • He loves pushing his cart across the room and looks so pleased with himself to do this.
  • The gate at the bottom of the stairs must stay closed, or else!
  • He's not the best eater. Still eating 99.9% breast milk and rejecting all bottles, spoons, and other foods. Sometimes will gracefully eat cheerios or puffs. Completely making mom bonkers.
  • Also not the best sleeper. Still wakes up every 3-4 hours at night. Mom is tired of feeling feels like she still has a 3 month old and is trying some "tough love" sleep training lately.
  • He is starting to babble and speak "Jaxish"
  • Cute chubby legs
  • LOVES being in water
  • His beach blonde hair - where'd he get that?? (some kind of in-vitro mix-up? J/K)
  • His godzilla attacks on Madelines stuff
  • He always needs to be held facing outward.
  • He loves walks and being outdoors
  • He's at the best baby age right now, in my opinion.
  • So cute I want to eat him. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Madeline just made my day!

I was just putting Madeline down for her nap and she kept saying she wanted a song and that she wanted to "try a guy" or something like that. I couldn't figure out what she was saying, and she was getting more and more frustrated with me. Finally I realized that she was trying to say "Child of God." I didn't even knew she knew that song! I mean, we've sung it before as a family of course, but she never seemed very interested. I imagine she must have really learned it in nursery. So I sang her the song and she tried to sing along with me, and she was beaming the whole time. It was a special moment - I loved it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My New Blogging Approach - Getting Real

So I've decided I'm going to blog a little differently from now on. I tend to wait until the big, fun things happen in my life to post about, or until I have cute kid pictures to share and don't post anything in between. But lately I've been feeling like that I'm forgetting so many things about my kids and my life right now that I'm scared will be lost forever in the abyss of my fleeting memory. My new goal is to write little bits more here and there on this blog, even if they're not that big and exciting.

The other thing I want to change is I want to write in a very "real" way. I love motherhood and love my kids to pieces, but I'll also admit that this whole motherhood thing is royally kicking my butt. I'm learning a lot about myself, and I find that I am desperately needing to find growth and stimulation in what I'm doing - I feel like I need to start writing about it more in order to understand it and foster some of that growth.

Sometimes I feel intimidated when reading other peoples' blogs and how perfect everyones' lives and children seem. I can't figure out how people do other things so much and complete so many projects, when my life feels so completely consumed with children. For some reason, I feel a real need right now to make sure I remember the good things as well as the crazy hard things. Maybe it's therapy for me, maybe it's for someone else down the road, who knows? But I'm doing it nonetheless.

Ok, so for my first post on my new blog, I want to post a "real-world" snapshot of my first child, Madeline - the good things and the hard things I want to remember. Later I will do a post about Jax.

  • Madeline is now two years old, soon to be three on November 2nd.
  • She is a beautiful, sharp, fun-loving, and very determined, head-strong little girl.
  • She insists on doing EVERYTHING herself, but she demands that I be right there waiting endlessly with her while she's doing it.
  • She cries a lot when she's with me - sometimes for the better part of the day. Sometimes she cries for no apparent reason, but usually it's because she wants me to play with her, carry her, hold her hand, take her somewhere, get her something, see something, do something, listen to something, or say something. You might assume from this list that I don't often do these things with her - HA!
  • Some days she doesn't cry as much, and those are good days.
  • She has the best laugh that makes my heart soar.
  • She loves to get piggyback and horsey rides, do "steam rollers," and spin around till we both get dizzy.
  • She loves to pretend she's a dog or a cat and insists that I feed her cheerios on a plate on the ground so she can eat it like an animal.
  • She's big for her age - she's already wearing 4T clothes.
  • She loves animals and is getting over her fear of touching them. She LOVES going to the zoo.
  • She loves nursery and anywhere with little kids. She loves playing with all her little friends and always talks about them. She particularly likes to latch onto one kid at a time and imitate everything that kid does.
  • She always talks about Grandmas and Grandpas and her cousins, especially in her prayers.
  • She is our little "bull in a china shop." She's pretty physical in her playing and often doesn't know her own strength.
  • She gets hurt a lot in her bullish clumsiness. And she tries to milk mom and dad for sympathy as much as she can get and cries for a very long time after each episode. On the occasion that she actually gets a visible wound, life as we know may as well be over because she will obsess over it every time she sees it for the next few days.
  • She loves to go to the park and asks to go on a daily basis. She also loves going to Ruckus Room, or the "jumping place" as we call it, to the duck pond to feed the ducks, and to the restaurant playgrounds when mommy thinks it's too hot to go to other playgrounds. Anything "out" is generally better for her behavior than being at home, so mom is often desperate for "going out" ideas.
  • Shopping with Madeline, grocery or otherwise, is an activity that should be avoided at all costs.
  • To go to sleep at naptime or at night, all of the following must be done in order: lay in bed, sheet on, crochet blanket on, music on, fan on, find Soft Baby, covers go over her head, kiss, hugs, light off, say goodnight, and finally, say that the door is being closed three or four times. If any of these steps is missed, the hysterics begin.
  • She wakes up crying 2-5 times per night pleading to be tucked in again.
  • She loves to do all the signs that she has learned from Signing Time.
  • Every time we drive anywhere right now, it is an endless string of objects that she is thrilled to shout out about: "Mom, look flags, birds, bus, motorcycle, balloon, M (McDonalds)," etc. If we don't acknowledge her findings right away, they get louder and louder and LOUDER.
  • She adores her little brother and wants to play with his face all the time.
  • She goes to time-out probably an average of 5-6 times per day, and is threatened with it countless more.
  • She loves dolls and likes to put them to bed in little hiding spots all over the house using blankets, wash cloths, or anything else she can find.
  • We are endlessly trying to potty train her - she'll do great for a day or two and then seemingly forget everything and pee all over herself for the next few days.
  • A favorite thing to do right now is aimless running from point A to point B back and forth
  • She is starting to love dress up and anything with a princess on it.
  • She loves nursery rhymes and sings them all the time, unless you ask her to sing them.
  • Meal time takes forever. She eats most foods and can use a fork very well, but conveniently forgets how to use a fork when she isn't excited about the meal (which is when anything is served besides pizza). She'll sit there not eating forever, only taking bites when we spoon-feed her, threaten her with time out, or get really fed up and try to take the food away. We know she's manipulating us for attention, and are increasingly just taking her food away permanently when she doesn't eat.
  • She is FINALLY over her food throwing stage, which lasted about 18 months. Thank you, Madeline.
  • She loves it when we read to her and she loves to read to us. Reading is one of my favorite thing we do with her because we don't fight about anything.
  • She loves to be chased and tickled.
  • When she is happy, she is radiant with joy and has an infectious excitement for life.
  • More and more, she is starting to be able to share and leave places without throwing fits.
  • More and more, she is starting to be able to play by herself.
  • More and more, with each passing day, she is loved more desperately by her parents.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Madeline's Prayer

So Madeline is obsessed with being the one to pray all the time these days. To try to teach her that other people should have the chance to pray too, James told her the other day that she could pray first but that Daddy was going to get a turn too after she was done. She didn't like that very much. When she said her prayer, she actually said, "please bless that Daddy won't say prayers."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mommy Playing with Jax

These are just the best moments in mommy life.

Austin Pictures

Here's Jax, just chillin' in our backyard pool.

Madeline, Jax, and Mommy wading in the water at Barton Springs in Austin

What a face!

Our little Jack-o-lantern mouthed kid

He was so happy to be around water!

Madeline loved wading in the water.

Another shot of all of us in the water

Daddy and Madeline on the Zilker Park train

So precious!
We decided to get out of town for Labor Day weekend and check out Austin, since we had never been there before. What a great city! We really liked it. There was a University of Texas game going on that day, and I've never seen so many burnt orange shirts in my life! There is some serious school pride in that town.
We went to Zilker Park, which is a nice playground/park area close to downtown surrounded by nice jogging and biking trails everywhere. Madeline played at the playground and Daddy took her on a ride on the train. Then we went down into the Barton Springs area and cooled off by wading in the water a bit. The kids both loved this. I wished we had brought swimsuits for everybody. Then we stopped in at the Austin Nature and Science Center just a few minutes away to check out some of their fish, animals, and nature exhibits. It was a really fun day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fabulous Day at the Beach

Yes, Jax was trying to eat the sand.

Today we went to Surfside Beach just south of Houston. I can't believe I've lived in Houston for three years and haven't done the beach before. It was fantastic. Sure, it's no amazing California beach with the ginormous waves, but hey, I thought it was beautiful and the waves were plenty big for our family with little kids. (Madeline was a scared of even the littlest waves - hopefully she'll grow out of that soon. Jax loved it though - what a little beach bum!!!) And the water was like bath water! I hate being in cold water, so no complaining from me! We swam in the ocean, took walks on the beach, built sandcastles, collected sea shells, you name it.

While we were down there, we also stopped in at the Sea Center Texas, which is a free aquarium just a few miles from the beach. Madeline was flipping out at all the cool fish she saw. She just kept running from tank to tank saying "Mom! Mom! Look at this!" "Hey, Mom, look at this!" I love those moments when your kid is having the thrill of your life and it took so little to make it happen!

We ate sack lunches at the aquarium, got yummy snacks at Buc'ees (our favorite), and had fish sandwiches at the Fish Company restaurant at the Outdoor World on the way home. Highly recommended. Other than the five terrifying minutes we thought we lost our car keys at the beach and the fact that Jax cried the whole way home, it was truly one of those perfect family days.

I really needed this trip today. This summer has been so hot, and normally I would spend more of it by the pool, but I just haven't felt comfortable taking a fearless crawling baby and a wild clingy toddler swimming by myself without James. So I've been inside a lot, and going a little stir crazy (the kids as well!). Today was just what I needed. And it was so fun to spend time with my family and do something memorable, rather than the typical housework and shopping that consumes most of our Saturdays. As much as I like to keep up on the never-ending to-do list, sometimes it is worth it to just say to-heck-with-it and go to the beach!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jax laughing in his high chair

Here is a video we just took today of Jax in his high chair (sorry it's a little fuzzy). He is now seven months old. I can't believe it is going by so fast. I just want to push the pause button and keep him this way forever!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jax is now officially crawling!

Check out the video!

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Pictures of Jax

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A few more pics of Jax on his blessing day

Blessing Day!

Well, we blessed Jaxon today! And let's just say it didn't go quite like we planned.

I had borrowed the cutest little blessing outfit from my friend Steph, and I was so excited for Jax to wear it. We woke up super early this morning to try to give ourselves plenty of time to get the kids ready for church without being rushed and stressed. (9:00 a.m. church can be so early sometimes!) We had everything ready to go with time to spare, and Jax looked so handsome in his cute outfit. James and I had to take separate cars today, so he left for church while I threw a few more things in the diaper bag to head out the door. Just as I was picking Jax up to put in his seat, I hear it...."splat!" I knew that sound all too well. I cringed as I carefully turned him over to see his yellowy poo splattered all the way up the back of the blessing outfit (also through the onesie underneath). Oh, I about died! I quickly picked him up and took off the outfit, holding back the tears because I knew he wouldn't get to wear it now.

Quickly, I searched for something else. I know he doesn't technically have to wear white, but I still really want him to for his special day. I found one outfit that was mostly white and kind of churchy looking, so I put that on him. As I was again carrying him to his seat, I hear it.... "blah!" I looked down and he had thrown up (or spit up - but it was a lot) all over this outfit! I'm thinking, you have got to be kidding me!

Running very low on time now, I frantically searched for something else, but there was nothing good! I couldn't decide what to do, so I grabbed several things and just put Jax in his carseat wearing only his diaper. I left the house only five minutes before church was supposed to start, and it takes a good 15 minutes to get there! When I realized what time it was, then I really started to panic because I didn't think I would make it there in time for the blessing (normally right before the sacrament). I called James on his cell phone and told him everything. He went and arranged with the Bishop to do the blessing after the sacrament if I could make it on time for that. So off speeding away I went and I made it to the church in record time.

In the end, Jax was blessed in a simple white onesie, wrapped in a white blanket. Not what I had pictured for him, but hey, at least he was blessed, right?

What Jax was supposed to wear (taken before the poo disaster)

Here is what Jax actually wore. Nice, huh! Nothin' but the best for our little guy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

More pics!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Madeline Pictures!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Family pictures