Monday, August 31, 2015


We had a very low key and restful weekend, I think we're finally into our school routine but we are totally "Is it Friday yet?" by about Wednesday. The days may seem long but the years are short so I try to take it all in stride.
This past week marked the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It was also the ten year mark of my first day of college. And it just so happened that Katrina and college combined for me. I was attending WKU and my first day of classes Katrina hit Bowling Green and I had to walk the hill in the storm. I was completely drenched and miserable, I remember buying a poncho instead of books. My umbrella didn't shield the sideways rain from the wind so I knew books would be ruined in my backpack. Needless to say things went up from there and I'm thankful for my collegiate days. 

This weekend Jack wanted to be held 24/7. Seriously my child was not content unless he was being held, worn or swaddled in your arms. He will be scooting and crawling soon so we knew we better just embrace the extra affection. I love my cuddly boy!

My brother made an unexpected trip home on Thursday and we all got together for dinner. He doesn't get to come home often so when he does we always try to see him. He is loving his life in NYC and we are so happy for him. He had dinner across from Ashton Kutcher and Mila a few weeks ago!! He's living the dream.

Speaking of living the dream I can say that I am too for getting to be this girl's mommy. She was so proud of herself and couldn't wait to show me how she could hang on the monkey bars. She's two years old and can hang longer than I can. Strong girl!

We spent a little time at the pool this weekend. I hope the weather allows for us to swim on into September because the babes love going and seeing Gammy and Gran Stan of course. 

I know I have said that Jack is a mommy's boy but he sure thinks his daddy hung the moon. I couldn't have picked a better role model for our son. I hope he grows up to be a man just like his daddy.

Georgia Grace has this play hat that she wears daily. I finally snapped a picture of her wearing it. She loves it and after she wore it a while outside she used it as a bowl to store landscaping rocks :)

Sunday was a perfect day and we spent time after supper outside enjoying the last few drops of summer. Daddy and Georgia tried to play some hide and seek. Owen makes that rather difficult however. Notice the sky in the background-God's handiwork.

This week and weekend we will officially say goodbye to summer and make way for fall. We are already planning out our football game trips, fall break vacation and a third birthday. Someone hold me because there is no way we have a soon-to-be three year old!! I don't know how much more of this growing up stuff I can handle.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A List For Our Week

This week, month, year has flown by. I'm not sure if it's because I was pregnant and then Jack was born but this year just seems like a blur to me. We are headed into the last quarter of the year and I feel like I'm just getting use to writing 2015!

Just a few random thoughts-
1. I have had travel fever lately. November was our last trip and I'm dying to get away somewhere. We've got a big trip coming up in October, a small weekend trip in November and then possibly three big trips in 2016 that I am already planning. Marcus and I both love to travel and we want our kids to experience other places with us so they will go with us! 

2. I love hearing who everybody thinks our babies look like. I think they are the perfect combination of both of us. The older they get the more I think they look like Marcus.

Jack and Georgia both at four months. They have the same eyes (big and round with huge pupils), similar noses and the same precious lips. She's my brunette and he's my blondie. This age has been one of my favorite ages for both of them. They are so expressive and their personality starts to shine. 

3. "Jailbird Jack"-that's what his Granddad called him in his striped pajamas. Look at those eyelashes peeking over the top of Aunt Shanna's sunglasses-melt me!

4. Tonight my brother is unexpectedly in Kentucky so we are going to dinner with him. He doesn't make it home much so this is a treat! He is loving the NYC life, I'm hoping we can go up to visit him one day.

5. My cubbies are installed and I'm in love! We still need trim and storage bins. Georgia Grace had first dibs and put her flip flops by her favorite one. Maybe this will prevent another shoeless church appearance. A big thanks to Chris Givens for custom building these for us and for the hubby for painting them. They know the way to my heart.

6. Yesterday was Jack's four month checkup. The verdict is he is a very healthy, growing boy. I hope I never take for granted that I have healthy babies. We should be giving continued thanksgiving that they are well and developing!

Baby Jack weighs 15 1/2 lbs (35th%), 26.5 inches (95th%) and his head circumference put him in the 95th percentile as well. Big boy! His pediatrician said he has the biggest head in town :)

Jack's feet are much improved. We are to put the white leather walker shoes (the ones you bronze) on the opposite feet for 6-8 weeks and after that he should be good to go! This is an answered prayer that no surgery or therapy was required.

It was shot day as well. He hated them. I took this picture while we were waiting for the shots but it sums up his feelings about them well. We had a rough night but he is more content today. You better swaddle him though or it's over. Poor baby, so not fair!

7. I took Georgia with us to the appointment today as well. Our pediatrician wanted both of them weighed and as we were walking to the scale she spotted Dr. Lee and said, "Hi Dr. Lee, I've been drinking my milkshakes!". It had everyone ooing and aahing over her. He had told her to drink one pediasure a day to help with weight gain so she was telling him that she had been doing (although that's not completely true for most days....). The nurses were so impressed with her communication skills. 

Monday, August 24, 2015


We have had a mild summer that makes me want it to stay summer forever.

This is the forecast for this week-who wouldn't want perfect weather like this?!? We are trying to do a lot of fun outdoor activities while we can. 

Friday my Dad and Deena took Georgia Grace to Lost River Cave. This was her first time to go but she was mostly excited about lunch at Chick-A-Flay ha! She got to ride in a boat through the cave, see a butterfly habitat and walk nature trails. They said she was a very good girl. Not sure if they would tell me if she was otherwise but I will take their word for it :)

Friday night lights at Butler County High School (where Marcus and I both went) for Jack's first football game! It was the season opener and our team won big. Go Bears!

Unfortunately though our friend Gage broke his femur during the game. Georgia thinks Gage is her "big boy boyfriend" so she has asked a million questions since it happened. They air flighted him to Vanderbilt but they circled the helicopter over the field before they went so he could see the scoreboard :) He has a long road ahead of him but we pray that he makes a full recovery and comes back even stronger!

Saturday was yard work day at our house. Six men were in our yard raising the canopy on our big oak trees. We didn't want to lose our shade but wanted to be able to see out a little better and this has really made a big difference. I'm so thankful the family that built this house kept so many trees (57 to be exact) on the land.

Saturday afternoon the boys stayed home and bonded by napping together :) I hear it didn't last long though, baby Jack has become king of the cat nap!
Sister girl and I headed out for a mommy-daughter day! Grocery shopping (she loves to go), CFA and a movie were on the agenda but she fell asleep on the way so we camped out in the Aldi parking lot for twenty minutes for her to get her nap out. I didn't mind the slow down and it was nice not feeling like we had to rush from place to place.
We went to "Dinner and a Moo-vie" at Chaney's Dairy Barn to watch Up. We went last year to watch Frozen and had a lot of fun so I wanted to keep the tradition going. I think her dimple shining shows her excitement!

The movie didn't start until dusk but we wanted to get a good seat so we laid down our blanket before going on a hayride.

The dark sky is not just because night was falling. A small summer storm was on the way that would cut the movie short for us but we had fun anyway.

She won't always think it is cool to go to a movie with her mom. I have proof that one day it was <3

She normally sleeps in her crib but she ended up in bed with us Saturday night. They're only little once.
Just the babes and me at church Sunday morning and I realize as we pull in the parking lot my daughter has no shoes. I was banking on the pair being in my car but they were in Daddy's SUV instead. Her dress was unbuttoned and I had sweated off my makeup trying to get us out the door and there on time. I'm thankful for our friend Brandy who came to the rescue and carried one of them across hot blacktop. We were a sight but we made it and received such a blessing! I'm learning to let go and just laugh at our shortcomings. She will never remember her shoeless Sunday.

For all my praying friends-please remember my cousin Mark this week. He begins treatments at Vanderbilt for a stem cell transplant. Also, please remember another church member of ours that found out he also has cancerous tumors this week. My heart is burdened for so many families this week. Please join me in lifting them up. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Breastfeeding my second baby

First of all, if you haven't read my breastfeeding story with Georgia, you should do that. I will probably reference it as I tell my breastfeeding story with Jack. Two different babies and two different experiences.

Jack entered this world hungry. Just minutes after he was born I was able to nurse him for the first time and he beautifully latched on with no problem and fed the appropriate amount of time on both breasts. It was textbook perfect. But so was his sister's just two and a half years earlier so I wasn't getting my hopes up just yet that he would be good nurser but I was encouraged to say the least.

For the rest of our hospital stay Jack nursed with no problem. I never once had to ask a nurse to help latch or did he refuse. I've had it the other way so I know how stressful it can be. His birth weight was a hefty 8 lb 15 oz and he left the hospital (two days old) weighing 8 lb 7 oz. When we took him back for a checkup at four days old he was back up to 8 lb 11 oz. He was gaining two ounces per day and I had no trouble believing that with how much he wanted to nurse.

For the first several weeks Jack enjoyed nursing every 1-1 1/2 hours. I fed him on demand so anytime he was hungry he ate. My battle with nipple confusion with Georgia Grace made me doubt if I would be able to nurse him for long but he proved to enjoy it. We decided to not introduce the paci until he was two weeks old just to be safe. I continued to exclusively nurse him for the first five weeks. Around the five week mark we decided to give him his first breastmilk bottle. Marcus and Georgia were both anxious to feed him, and I knew I needed him to bottle feed just as well as nurse once I went back to work.

I remember my biggest fear being how I would nurse an infant and take care of a two year old at the same time. It took some creativity to make it work. I remember the time Georgia Grace really wanted to go outside to play and Jack was hungry. No one had said they were coming over and our house is a pretty good distance from the road so we went ahead outside. Lo and behold our (male) neighbor pulls in the driveway with a nursing session going on in the front yard! Thank goodness I took a blanket outside with us.
We had great success with bottle feeding him breastmilk. Truth be told he didn't care how he received his milk as long as you gave it to him in a timely fashion :) I started pumping when he was about two weeks old but it increased my supply to the point that I was strangling him when he nursed so I stopped pumping for a while to prevent any nursing problems.

This time around I have zero frozen breastmilk bags as opposed to freezers full with Georgia. Even though she didn't nurse well I was able to get my body in a set pumping routine and created a jersey milk cow supply. Nursing Jack instead of pumping probably lowered my supply but I think the most significant factor is he is just a bigger eater than his sister.

Today Jack is still nursing and taking breastmilk bottles. I nurse him in the morning usually around 6am and sometimes at night, the rest of the time I pump and he receives it in a bottle. 

Month four I started supplementing with formula. Y'all know I am a breastfeeding advocate but I am no means anti-formula. I think the motto "fed is best" sums it up nicely. As mothers we all have to do what is best for our baby. Jack is a good eater and since my supply isn't as strong this time around I want to make sure he is fed sufficiently. Hopefully I will be able to continue breastfeeding with supplementing. Most days he receives one formula bottle per day, some days it's not necessary. He takes either equally and I have peace of mind that if I need to miss a nurse/pump session here or there it won't be the end of the world.

My big boy is growing and developing just like he should. He's on the large size which I am proud of. I've prayed he would be strong and that prayer has been answered. He also started sleeping through the night at three months old and hasn't had any belly or reflux troubles. I'm soooo thankful for that!

I'm also thankful for the opportunity to breastfeed him and for the advancements in formula that gives me assurance to feed him both ways and know he is receiving quality nutrition from both sources. When I bought the first can of formula for him I felt a sting of guilt come over me. I never had to give Georgia formula and I felt like I was not meeting his needs as well as I did hers. That feeling quickly left when he drank the milk no differently and I was relieved of the stress of not being able to meet his needs. Fed is best!

Overall this breastfeeding experience has been much easier. A lot of that probably has to do with me. I'm calmer, more rational and understand the dynamics better of the relationship between mom and baby. If things continue the way they are going now I am hopeful we can make it to his first birthday (with supplementing) receiving breastmilk. These days of being able to nurse him are ones I will always cherish. I have some beautiful photos that Julia Christopher took of us that I will hold on to forever. My babies are worth every bit of pain, leakage, sagging, pump session and inconvenience that comes with breastfeeding. They are worth it all times a thousand.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Glimpse of Georgia and Jack's Childhood

This week/weekend we-
-exhausted ourselves from taking four month pictures. What a face! 

-went to our friend Chandler's pool party. She's never met a pool party she doesn't like. She still swims everyday at preschool (until Labor Day weekend) but she insists we swim on the weekends too. Saturday we went to my mom's and the party both.

-were one of those kids who wanted to help blow out the candles! I saw her start climbing up on the picnic table and before I knew it she was blowing them out herself. Thank goodness Chandler didn't mind :)

-took a group picture for the moms of the sweet little swimmers

-enjoyed a new activity. He still doesn't quite have the hang of it but for a few minutes he loves it! Once he ever does get the hang of it though he will bounce through the ceiling. He has the busiest legs ever for a baby!

-failed at Sunday sibling pictures but this one is too funny not to share. He looks annoyed by his older sister already :) And she's already trying to boss. Also, I expect him to pass her in size any day now. He's a baby giant next to our mini!

-continuing life as the living baby doll. It's a good thing he is a good sport. He sat in the stroller and watched her play for twenty minutes. His little world revolves around his big sister and it makes my heart melt over and over again.

-decided she wanted to climb a tree. So I put her in a pear tree and the bark scratched her butt so that was the end of that. I love her imagination and spirit of trying new things. Love her heart!

I don't know about you but I'm holding on to summer as long as I can this year. Usually by now I'm ready to bring out the pumpkin scented candles and pull out my cable knit and plaids but not this time around. The older I get the more precious time becomes. The sweet, easy days of summer come and go in the blink of an eye. A new season means one less season of Georgia and Jack's childhood, so I'm trying to savor every day instead of looking ahead to the next thing. Life is short and I want to live in the moment!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jack is FOUR months old!

Another very fast month is in the books for our Jack. When creating this post I realized I have not updated his baby book since his one month stats! Thank goodness for this blog. 

Jack-you are four months old!
Here's what you have been up to this month-
  • Your four month checkup is next week so I will update with stats then (weight- 15 1/2 lbs, 35th percentile; length-26.5", 95th percentile; head circumference-95th percentile). You appear to be a big boy, I think you will be tall. You're in size 2 diapers and 6 month clothing. You can wear size 0 shoes but the 1s are still a little big for you.
  • You wear a bib with everything because you are drool mcdroolster.
  • You rolled over for the first time this month! Both you and your sister rolled over at 3 1/2 months. You haven't rolled over much since but you know you can if you want to.
  • You appear to be able to recognize people you are familiar with, especially your Mommy. You always flash the cutest smile that makes your whole face smile when someone acknowledges you.

  • This month I started supplementing your breastmilk with formula. I gave you Enfamil because that's what we were sent home with from the hospital and you tolerated it with no problems. You are a good eater and Mommy has had a hard time keeping up with you. You still receive about 90% breastmilk but it's good to know you can tolerate formula well and you are satisfied no matter what I give you :)
  • You still don't have a set eating pattern but I feel like we will develop one this month with Mommy and Daddy back to work. 
  • You take 3-4 naps a day ranging in length from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Most nights you sleep from 9:30-10 to 6:30-7. Go baby Jack!
  • You have found your feet and like to play with them. You LOVE long hair and hold on for dear life if you get a hold of some. You like to keep your fists clinched and toes curled :)

  • You love to talk, talk, talk. You squeal and coo all the time. You love when someone talks to you and you try to talk back. It's the sweetest.
  • Your hair is long and blonde with some curl to it. Your eyes are dark blue. You have long eyelashes like your sister. 
  • You love your big sister and want her attention anytime you can get it. She is really good about playing with you so right now you are her live baby doll.
  • We continue to swaddle you for bedtime. The good news is some mornings you wake up with one arm already out and that doesn't wake you. Hopefully you will make an easy transition when we wean you from it.
  • You are easy going and laid back. You love to be held and cuddled. 
  • You have no trouble riding in a vehicle and most of the time you fall asleep. We take you with us everywhere now. It's easy to get out and do things since you are usually content with whatever we are doing.

Four months of pure bliss. God knew exactly what we needed when He gave us you.

We love you, baby Jack!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I remember Marcus and I hearing this phrase from family members when we started dating at 15 and 16 and our parents limited our time together. That's the story for the blog for the past couple weeks. Life has been crazy busy and I didn't feel like it was fair to sacrifice my time on other things for blogging so it just didn't happen. And that's ok because I can summarize the end of July and the beginning of August pretty easily and hopefully life will slow down a bit. 
We spend quite a bit of time on our front porch. She still would rather sit in our lap to rock than to rock by herself. I hope she's never too big to rock in my lap. There will always be room no matter how old she gets!

I take this picture and two minutes later, after I leave the room, he rolls over for the first time! He rolled to his left side so maybe we've got ourselves a leftie! Georgia and Jack both rolled over at 3 1/2 months.

We celebrated Daddy's 27th birthday on the 30th! He didn't want a big to do so the four of us went to eat at Moonlite BBQ. When we were seated at the restaurant Georgia asked, "Is this your birthday party, Daddy?" HA! Most people would be scared to take a two year old and a three month old out to eat but these two make going places really easy. 

I lost count of how many people gushed about our girl. She really seems to catch the attention of senior men :) And she was such a good girl. Pretty is as pretty does.

We spent more time at the pool. Jack wasn't as crazy about it this time as he was the first couple times. I think the heat was getting to him.

I have to brag on my boy. This night he had slept from 10-7! How did we get so lucky to have two great sleepers?!? 

My blue-eyed boy. He has gotten big so quick! 

Going swimming at her great-grandmother's in my swimsuit circa 1992. There is no elastic and it's three sizes too big but I couldn't tell her no (impromptu swim trip after church). It was a fun afternoon for both of them!

The best big sister in all the land. She insists Jack be included in everything we do. He likes the arrangement as well! 

I think I'm starting to develop a green thumb. My ferns that we bought in March are very fulll and healthy, my impatiens in the planters have rebloomed and are thriving, and the rose bush from Mother's Day has really taken off (on the side of the house)! Can you spot my two favorite boys? I told you we are on the porch a lot.

The main reason for my blog absence has been the start of school. Three of our schools went CEP this year which means all students receive breakfast and lunch at no charge. Each school is serving 100+ more students than last year. It has been a successful start!

Our lunch elementary menu. We're trying some new things-buffalo chicken wrap, lasagna rollups and a chicken basket. I'm making an effort this year to involve students in helping design the menus.

At one of our schools we are doing a grab n' go breakfast in the gymnasium. They are a large school and cannot fit all their students in the cafeteria for breakfast so we are going to try two different sites. It starts tomorrow, hopefully it will be a success as well!

Georgia Grace started "school" this week too! AKK Preschool starts academics on the first day of school and I hope to take a picture each year to watch her growth. Also, she's wearing pink keds that I found consigning for $2! 

Daddy also started his sixth year of teaching on Thursday. He has moved to 5th grade Social Studies this year. I think it will be the perfect fit for him. He also gets to have his same kids he has had for three years now. I don't know what any of them will do next year when they go to middle school!

Sweet preschool friends that were excited to see each other!

Saturday night Jack and I attended the wedding of my cousin Clint and his fiance Megan. Georgia had a birthday party so Marcus stayed with her. We are already "you take this one, I'll take the other". We make it work!

It was a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple. I'm so happy for the both of them! The service was Christ-centered and filled with reminders of who will be at the center of their marriage. 

A sweet picture our friend Cindy took. Jack is never short of someone to hold him. He was passed around the reception and he loved every minute of it.

They had a photo booth so we had some fun with my mom!

Hello, ladies! Be prepared to have your heart melted by me. 

Almost one month and almost four months. That went by quick!! I really need these next months and years to slow down drastically.

I'm hoping it won't be another two week hiatus on the blog front. I've started my post on breastfeeding Jack and I'm almost finished with it. This week looks like things will be slower and I'll have time for the extras. This sounds wonderful to me!